Skip to main content

Pig numbers down to lowest levels since 1991 

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released livestock statistics from December 2023, which revealed that the total number of pigs fell by 10.4 per cent to 1.4 million, its lowest level since 1991.

The numbers of both breeding pigs and non-breeding pigs were down by 0.6 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively with the largest drop in the 'non-Breeding Pigs 80kg and over' category (-15 per cent). The number of breeding pigs in the country (126,800) was at its lowest level since December 1988. 
Other headline statistics include: 

  • Cattle numbers dropped by 25,900 (-0.4 per cent) to 6,526,000; 
  • Male cattle aged two years and over increased by 22,900 (+18.9 per cent); and 
  • Provisional sheep numbers are estimated at 3,995,000, a decrease of 23,000 (-0.6 per cent). 

Commenting on the release, Donal Kelly, senior statistician in the agriculture section of the CSO, said: "The number of dairy cows rose slightly to 1,510,900 (+500) while the number of other cows fell by 43,200 (-5 per cent). The total number of cattle aged one-two years fell by 6,300 (-0.4 per cent) while cattle aged two years and over (excluding cows and bulls) rose by 43,700 (+13 per cent).” 
“The provisional figures for the total number of sheep showed a decrease of 23,000 (-0.6 per cent) compared with December 2022. The number of breeding sheep was down by 62,900 (-2.3 per cent) while the number of other sheep rose by 39,900 (+3.2 per cent)."