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Stackyard News Sep 07

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Census Reveals Declines in Cattle and Sheep Numbers in England

EBLEX has called on all supply chains to consider carefully the implications of the latest census figures, which reveal further declines in the number of breeding cattle and sheep in England.

simmental cattle

Defra's provisional figures show that the total cattle breeding herd has fallen by 1.6 per cent over the last year and that numbers of female beef cattle under one year of age has fallen by 4.5 per cent. The census also shows that the English sheep breeding flock has contracted by 5.3 per cent over the same period.

Commenting on the results, John Cross EBLEX Chairman said: "These figures, which do not reflect the impact of the recent increases in feed prices nor the immense problems our industry faces resulting from the current Foot and Mouth outbreak, emphasise that the market has not yet recognised that England's cattle and sheep farmers no longer receive subsidies to produce quality livestock.

"I call on all supply chains to talk to their producers as a matter of some urgency and establish what they can do to develop commercial partnerships where every link in our food chain is rewarded for producing quality beef and lamb.

"EBLEX is already working hard to play our part in building those sustainable relationships through our business improvement and marketing activities, but we need every part of the supply chain to fully commit to supporting our vision for a profitable, sustainable industry. After all, it is only profitable industries which can satisfy consumers' preferences for quality beef and lamb produced in the countryside they want to see."

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