GB cattle herd 1% smaller at 1 January

Monday, 1 March 2021

The total number of cattle on the ground in Great Britain declined again in January, according to population data from the British Cattle Movement Service.

At 1 January 2021, there were 7.7 million cattle in Great Britain, down 1% (115,800 head) from the same point a year ago.

Within this, the number of all cattle under 30 months of age fell by 1% (39,500 head) to 4.7 million head. The number of dairy and beef cows over 30 months of age contracted by 2% to 2.9 million head.

  

Prime cattle supplies

Short-term supplies of prime cattle (dairy males and beef cattle of both sexes aged 12-30 months, accounting for suckler replacements) tightened again, with 5% (81,900 head) fewer animals recorded at 1 January 2021 year-on-year. This continues the trend seen over the past year, and is supportive of our latest beef forecast. All groups recorded lower numbers year-on-year; beef females by -3%, beef males by -4%, and dairy males by -20%.

Looking forward, the number of animals available for beef production under 12 months of age (dairy males and beef cattle of both sexes, accounting for replacements) rose by 2% on the year to 2.2 million head. Numbers of dairy females rose by 5%, while beef females and males both rose by 2%. Dairy males continued to contract in number, down 3% year-on-year.

Cow numbers

The number of dairy and beef cows over 30 months of age both contracted by 2% year-on-year. This follows a long-term trend of decline for both herds. However, the number of dairy females under 12 months old has been in annual growth since January 2020, which may signal some stabilisation in the future dairy herd.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Beef and Lamb market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved. 

Topics:

Sectors:

Tags:

×