British milking herd continues to decline

The British milking herd is down 2.8 percent, new figures show
The British milking herd is down 2.8 percent, new figures show

The British milking herd continues to decline, with the latest head count standing at 1.75 million.

Statistics from April 2019 show that the milking herd is 49,700 head (2.8%) down on a year ago, and 13,900 head down on January 2019 alone.

According to the latest data from British Cattle Movement Service, the majority of the decline occurred in the 2-4 year old group.

Numbers in this group fell by 4.4%, although there was also a big drop in numbers of 6-8 year old cows.



The drop in the size of the 2-4 year old group is likely due to the increased use of beef semen in 2015/16.

In line with the recent trends in dairy vs beef inseminations, the year-on-year decline in the number of youngstock has slowed.



As of April 2019, the number of youngstock (0-2 years) was 4,600 head lower than in the previous year, compared with a drop of almost 44,000 head in the year ending December 2017.