The total number of dairy cattle at 30 June 2012 increased by 6% over the previous year to 2.7 million head. This was driven by a 9% increase in Victoria (up to 1.8 million head), the dominant milk producing state. Increases were also reported in New South Wales (up by 5% to 341,000 head) and Tasmania (up by 4% to 232,000 head).
The total number of meat cattle at 30 June 2012 fell slightly to 25.7 million head. A decrease in Queensland (down by 4% to 12.0 million head) was only partly offset by increases in New South Wales and South Australia. The number of cows and heifers rose by 6% over the previous year, but this was countered by an 8% drop in the number of other meat cattle.
Total sheep and lamb numbers at 30 June 2012 increased by 2%, up to 74.7 million head. Decreases in sheep and lamb numbers in Queensland and South Australia were offset by increases in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Breeding ewe numbers increased in most states with producers taking advantage of favourable conditions. In New South Wales breeding ewe numbers rose for the third consecutive year (up by 9% to 16.9 million head) as producers continued to rebuild their breeding flocks.
The number of lambs marked in 2011-12 rose by 6% to 35.4 million. Most states recorded an increase in lambs marked in line with increases in their breeding ewe stocks.
The total number of pigs at 30 June 2012 fell by 6% to 2.1 million, the lowest figure since 1968. Large decreases were reported in Queensland (down by 13% to 556,000 head), South Australia (down by 15% to 316,000 head) and Western Australia (down by 16% to 225,000 head). The number of breeding sows fell by 9% to 237,000 head at the Australian level, and the number of all other pigs fell by 6% to 1.9 million head.
Footnote(s): (a)Due to confidentiality restrictions data for South Australia (2003, 2006 and 2008-2012),Tasmania (2000-2012) and Western Australia (2010-1012) are not available. (b)Due to confidentiality restrictions data for Tasmania and Western Australia (2012) are not available.
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