Sheep numbers down

Preliminary estimates from the June 2007 agricultural survey show that the number of sheep (5,470,900) was down 8.4 percent on the previous June. This decrease was due to decreases in ewes two years and over (-8.8%), other sheep (-8.3%) and ewes under two years (-7.6%). The number of sheep is at its lowest since 1986.  The results also indicate the total number of cattle decreased by 205,700 (-3.0%). This was largely due to a decrease in males 1-2 years of 64,900 (-7.1%). There was also a decrease in dairy heifers of 8,400 (-3.7%).