Press release: 12.440-031/21

Fewer cattle and sheep livestock, more pigs and goats in 2020; slaughterings decreased significantly

Vienna, 2021-02-15 – As of 1 December 2020, a total of 1.86 million cattle was kept in Austria. This represents a decrease of 1.3% or 24 100 animals compared to the previous year, as Statistics Austria reports. With an increase of 1.2% or 33 200 animals, the total stock of pigs rose to 2.81 million. The number of sheep fell by 2.2% to 394 000 animals, while the amount of goats slightly rose by 0.3% to 92 800. The number of slaughterings of pigs, cattle, goats and equids decreased, whereas slaughterings of sheep and calves rose in 2020.

Number of cattle decreased for the most part in all age groups

Compared to 2019, the stock of young cattle less than one year old declined by 1.1% to 599 000 animals. The number of calves for slaughter fell by 0.7% to 151 000 and the quantity of other calves and young cattle declined by 1.2% to 448 000 animals (see table 1).

A decrease of 2.8% to 414 000 animals was also recorded in the age class of young cattle one to less than two years old. The amount of bulls and oxen (-5.6% to 156 000) and heifers for production and breeding (-2.3% to 179 000) dropped as well. In contrast, the stock of heifers for slaughter (+1.8% to 79 500) increased.

The number of cattle aged at least two years declined by 0.6% to a total of 842 000 animals, compared to December 2019. Bulls and oxen (+1.7% to 20 400), heifers for slaughter (+1.1% to 18 900) and dairy cows (+0.1% to 525 000) increased, while heifers for production and breeding (-2.0% to 87 600) and other cows (-2.5% to 191 000) decreased.

As of the reference day, the number of cattle farms decreased by 2.4% to 55 000. The average livestock density rose to 34 cattle per holding.

Total pig stock increased, pigs for breeding decreased

Compared to the previous year, the number of piglets and young pigs (+2.3% to 1.40 million) and pigs for fattening (+0.5% to 1.17 million) rose, whereas the stock of pigs for breeding (-1.5% to 231 000 animals) fell (see table 2).

In detail, the amount of piglets increased by 2.0% to 664 000 and that of young pigs by 2.5% to 740 000 animals. Furthermore, the number of pigs for fattening weighing 50 to less than 80 kg remained stable (+0.1% to 558 000), while the number of fattening pigs weighing 80 to less than 110 kg declined by 1.4% to 463 000 animals and pigs with at least 110 kg of weight increased by 8.7% to 150 000. Among breeding sows, both the number of young breeding sows (-1.2% to 46 200) and that of old breeding sows (-1.5% to 181 000) dropped. The total number of covered breeding sows slightly increased to 162 000 animals (+0.3%).

At regional level, the share of the three most relevant Laender (federal states) for pig production – Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria – slightly rose to 93.6% of the total stock (2019: 93.5%).

Fewer sheep, more goats

Compared to December 2019, both sheep categories, the number of ewes and ewe lambs put to the ram (-2.3% to 235 000 animals) and other sheep (-2.0% to 158 000), showed declines. The number of goats that have already kidded and goats that have been mated (-0.7% to 59 700) dropped slightly, while the stock of other goats increased (+2.0% to 33 000 animals; see table 2).

Slaughterings decreased in 2020 in almost all animal categories

The number of examined slaughterings of pigs (-0.1% to 5.1 million), cattle (-5.6% to 590 000), goats (-13.8% to 11 500) and equids ( -24.5% to 426) decreased, in some cases significantly. In contrast, the examined slaughterings of sheep (+5.1% to 182 000) and calves (+2.2% to 56 300) rose in 2020, as Statistics Austria further reports (see table 3).

At regional level, Upper Austria reported the highest share of examined slaughterings concerning cattle (32.6%), goats (29.9%) and equids (33.1%). However, the most pig slaughterings (39.8%) took place in Styria, whereas Lower Austria was leading in sheep slaughterings (45.4%) and Tyrol in calve slaughterings (22.0%).

For more detailed results and further information concerning statistics of livestock and slaughterings please refer to our website.

Information on methods:  
Livestock: These statistics are based on regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 concerning livestock and meat statistics; implemented under Ordinance Federal Law Gazette II No. 163/2012 (available in German only) issued by the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management.  
The bovine livestock was determined through an evaluation of the central cattle database pursued by Agrarmarkt Austria in combination with data from the Association of Austrian Cattle Breeders. The administrative data were consolidated by the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, which also subsequently processed the results.  
The data on the stock of pigs, sheep and goats was collected by a separated livestock sample survey at around 7 000 holdings directly.  
Slaughterings: The statistics are based on data from the veterinary information system or the Carinthian veterinary administration.

Table 1: Number of cattle on 1 December 2020
 1 December 20191 December 2020Change in %
Cattle in total1 879 5201 855 432-1.3
   Young cattle less than 1 year old605 322598 598-1.1
   Young cattle 1 to less than 2 years old426 425414 397-2.8
   Cattle 2 years and older847 773842 437-0.6
Holdings with cattle56 38955 019-2.4
Table 2: Number of pigs, sheep and goats on 1 December 2020
 1 December 20191 December 2020Change in %
Pigs in total2 773 2252 806 461+1.2
   Piglets and young pigs below 50 kg live weight1 373 1491 404 047+2.3
   Pigs for fattening, 50 kg live weight and above1 165 8861 171 833+0.5
   Pigs for breeding, 50 kg live weight and above234 190230 581-1.5
Sheep in total402 658393 764-2.2
Goats in total92 50492 758+0.3

 

Table 3: Examined slaughterings 2020 in head
Categories20192020Change in %
Equids564426-24.5
Calves55 05456 262+2.2
Cattle625 474590 402-5.6
Pigs5 063 3025 056 515-0.1
Sheep172 794181 512+5.1
Goats13 34211 505-13.8

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria  
regarding livestock:  
Franz NEUMANN, Tel. +43 1 71128-7120 resp. franz.neumann@statistik.gv.at and 
DI Martina WIESINGER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7959 resp. martina.wiesinger@statistik.gv.at 
regarding slautherings:  
Franz NEUMANN, Tel. +43 1 71128-7120 resp. franz.neumann@statistik.gv.at and 
Martin LIPP, Tel. +43 1 71128-7305 resp. martin.lipp@statistik.gv.at

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777 
presse@statistik.gv.at  
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