Livestock imports and exports tumble

On 21 March this year, the first case of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in the Netherlands. At the end of June the last measures to contain the outbreak were abolished.

Imports: quarter of a million fewer animals

As a consequence of the foot-and-mouth crisis, imports of the animals susceptible to foot and mouth disease -cattle, sheep, pigs and goats - fell considerably in the first half of 2001: from nearly 750 thousand in 2000 to just over 480 thousand, a 36% decrease.

Dutch imports and exports of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats

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The import of cattle fell particularly strongly: from 336 thousand in the first half of 2000 to 148 thousand in the same period of this year, a fall of 56%. Imports of pigs fell by nearly a third in the same period: from 299 thousand to 203 thousand.

Nearly all the imported animals (99%) were from the European Union, mostly from Belgium and Germany.

Exports down by a quarter

Exports of these animals also fell sharply in the first half of 2001. Nearly one quarter fewer animals were exported: 2.1 million in 2001 compared with 2.8 million in 2000. The fall was strongest in the second quarter as the export ban was in force for most of this period.

While nearly 61 thousand heads of cattle were exported in the first half of 2000, in the same period this year the figure was just under 33 thousand, only just above half last year’s number.

Exports of pigs fell by nearly 23% in the same period, from nearly 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.9 million in 2001. All exported pigs go to EU countries, with Germany, Italy and Portugal the main customers.

Exports of sheep and goats fell by nearly one third in the period concerned, from 252 thousand to nearly 175 thousand.

Wiel Packbier