Zurück Reductions in pig and bovine populations in the EU


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The EU has a sizeable livestock population of pigs and bovine animals. In May/June 2022, the bovine population had decreased by 2% and the pig population by 5% compared with the same period in 2021, based on the available results of Member States with at least 1.5 million bovines and/or 3 million pigs.

Poland’s pig herd decreased by 1.4 million in one year

In May/June 2022, a major decrease in pig population was reported in Poland (a decline of 1.4 million head, the equivalent of -13%). The main type of pigs lost were the sows, covered for the first time. This points to a reduction in the number of breeding animals for the coming years.


Bar chart: Pig population in May/June, in millions, 2021 compared with 2022

Source dataset: apro_mt_lspig

The decrease was part of a general trend; all Member States with more than three million pigs reported declines. The decreases recorded in Poland, Germany (-10%; -2.4 million) and Denmark (-8%; -1 million) were the sharpest.

Belgium’s bovine herd decreased by 319 000 over six years

The downward trend in the bovine population continued, with a total fall of 2% among those countries with at least 1.5 million bovines. This was slightly higher than the average rate of decline since 2016 (-1%). The declines in Belgium were particularly strong; there were decreases of 5% between 2021 and 2022 (-118 000) and 13% (-319 000) between 2016 and 2022.

The category of bovine animals most impacted were the young bovines (under 1 year) for slaughtering (-7%) and the breeding bovines, heifers and non-dairy cows (all -3%).


Bar chart: Bovine population in May/June, in millions, 2021 compared with 2022

Source dataset: apro_mt_lscatl

For more information: 

Methodological notes: 

  • The May/June survey data are only due by eight Member States regarding the bovine and pig populations and by four additional ones regarding the bovine population. 
  • Hungary, Ireland (pigs), Austria (pigs) and Sweden provided data on a voluntary basis.
  • Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland: data not available. 


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