SUMMARY OF FINDINGS LIVESTOCK
Livestock numbers were mostly lower at 30 June 2007 compared to the previous year. Milk cattle, meat cattle, sheep, lamb and pig numbers were all lower than in the previous year. While the number of chickens for egg production also fell, chickens for meat production rose.
The number of milk cattle fell by 4% to 2.7 million at 30 June 2007, with 1.8 million cows in milk and dry. Victoria continued to dominate the dairy industry with a total herd of 1.7 million, down by 5% from the previous year.
Meat cattle numbers fell slightly to 25.4 million head at 30 June 2007. Decreases in meat cattle numbers in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia were largely offset by increases reported in the more northerly regions of Queensland and the Northern Territory, where the effects of the drought were less severe.
Sheep and lambs
Sheep and lamb numbers fell by 6% to 85.7 million at 30 June 2007, their lowest level since 1924. This was a result of continued difficult seasons due to drought and generally low wool prices. Sheep and lamb numbers fell in all states except South Australia.
Lamb markings fell by 3% to 34.0 million. The biggest decreases were reported in Western Australia (down 9% or 789,000 head) and New South Wales (down 4% or 475,000 head). The number of ewes mated also fell 3% to 41.5 million. The lambing percentage remained at 82%.
The number of pigs in Australia fell by 5% to 2.6 million at 30 June 2007. This was driven mainly by a large decrease in Victoria (down 31% or 206,000 head) but was partly offset by increases in New South Wales and Western Australia. New South Wales reported the largest herd ( 741,000 head) followed by Queensland (695,000 head).
The number of chickens for meat production rose by 5% to 82.1 million birds at 30 June 2007, with increases reported in all states, except Western Australia. The number of chickens for egg production fell by 4% to 15.3 million birds, driven by a 21% decrease (or 1.1 million birds) in New South Wales. Egg production fell by 6% to 236 million dozen.