|Cattle (% change relative to 2019)||Pigs (% change relative to 2019)||Poultry (% change relative to 2019)||Dairy goats (% change relative to 2019)||Sheep (excl. lambs) (% change relative to 2019)|
The drop in the number of pig farms is partly related to the expiry - on 1 January 2020 - of a nationwide scheme intended to reduce ammonia emissions from intensive livestock farming that was offered to farmers from 2013 to 2019 inclusive.
The size of the pig breeding herd has fluctuated around 12 million for years. At the same time, the number of holdings where the pigs are located has declined: from 14.5 thousand in 2000 to 3.6 thousand in 2020. The average number of pigs per farm has increased from 900 in 2000 to 3,400 in 2020.
Holdings with fattening pigs saw the largest decline over the past year. As of this year, there are 13.4 percent fewer holdings with fattening pigs compared to last year; the decline in breeding pigs amounted to 5.2 percent.
|Head (head (x million), holdings (x thousand))||Holdings (head (x million), holdings (x thousand))|
Modest growth in cattle herd
As of 1 April 2020, there were 3.8 million head of cattle in the Netherlands. This is 0.7 percent more than last year. The number of holdings rearing cattle decreased by 2.4 percent to 24 thousand. The dairy cow herd grew by 1.0 percent to 1.6 million, while young female cattle increased by 1.6 percent to 886 thousand.
The cattle herd was in consecutive decline over the years 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2017, the Phosphate Reduction Plan came into force in the Dutch dairy farming sector. Farmers had to reduce the size of their dairy herds, putting a halt to the increase in the livestock population. This year, the cattle herd is showing modest growth again.
|Mature dairy cattle (x million)||Young cattle for dairy farming (x million)||Veal calves (x million)||Other cattle (x million)|
Again more dairy goats, fewer sheep and chickens
The dairy goat herd increased again this year, by 4.3 percent to a total of 476 thousand goats. At the same time, the number of sheep (excluding lambs) declined by 5.8 percent to almost 550 thousand.
There are 100 million chickens this year, which is 1.0 percent down on 2019. The number of laying hens dropped by 2.5 percent while the number of broilers grew by 0.9 percent.
Decline in mink herd
As of 1 April, mink farmers were rearing a total of 700 thousand mink dams. This is nearly 100 thousand (12.1 percent) less than in the previous year. The mass culling at mink farms due to COVID-19 infections took place after the cut-off date of 1 April.
The number of mink farms had been in steady decline since the beginning of this century: from 190 (2000) to 110 (2020). Legislation intended to ban furred animal holdings was adopted in 2013. As of 2024, mink farming is no longer permitted in the Netherlands.
Note: The figures presented in this news release are provisional and subject to revision.