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Malta's Sheep Stock Fell in 2014, Goats Up

09 February 2015

MALTA - In 2014, the sheep stock fell by 3.7 per cent while the goat stock increased marginally by 0.6 per cent when compared to 2013.

In December 2014, the sheep stock amounted to 10,526 heads, down by 3.7 per cent over 2013.

Male sheep registered a 5.4 per cent drop, while lambs and ewe lambs decreased by 0.3 and 2.0 per cent respectively. Ewes, which accounted for 79.1 per cent of all sheep, decreased by 4.2 per cent over the corresponding period in 2013.

On a regional level, 7,639 sheep (72.6 per cent) were located in holdings in Malta, with the South Eastern District registering 2,473 heads. A total of 2,887 heads (27.4 per cent) were located in Gozo and Comino. Over the comparative period, the sheep stock decreased by 0.5 per cent in Malta and by 11.3 per cent in Gozo and Comino.

In 2014, 1,341 holdings were engaged in the rearing of sheep. Of these, 81.0 per cent had less than ten sheep and accounted for 3,539 heads, or one-third of the total stock.

Only 255 holdings (19.0 per cent) had more than ten sheep. Such holdings accounted for 6,987 heads.

Goats

In December 2014, the goat stock comprised 4,627 heads, representing a marginal rise of 0.6 per cent over 2013. The number of kids went up by 191, with smaller increases in male and breeding goats.

On a regional level, the goat stock increased by 2.1 per cent in Malta and decreased by 3.7 per cent in Gozo and Comino. Overall, 3,491 goats (75.4 per cent) were located in Maltese holdings, 1,045 of these in the South Eastern District. The goat stock in Gozo and Comino amounted to 1,136 heads.

Last year 803 holdings were engaged in the rearing of goats. Of these, the majority reared less than ten. These holdings accounted for 42.6 per cent of the total stock, while just 12.5 per cent of all holdings had more than ten goats. The latter holdings accounted for more than half the total goat stock.

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