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Drop in sheep and goat population

Sheep and goat stocks went down by 6.6 and 5.1 per cent respectively last year, when compared to the same period in 2012.

In December, the sheep population amounted to 10,930 heads. Male sheep registered a 32.1 per cent drop, while lambs and ewes fell by 4.8 and six per cent respectively. Ewe lambs, which accounted for 79.5 per cent of all sheep, decreased by 3.6 per cent.

A total 70.2 per cent of sheep were located on holdings in Malta.  Only 19.7 per cent of all holdings had more than 10 heads, with a combined 7,337 sheep, or 67.1 per cent of the total population.

The goat population stood at 4,598 heads. This was due to a drop in kids (-38.9 per cent), goats mated for the first time (-17.8 per cent) and male goats (-4.5 per cent). In contrast, goats that had already kidded edged up by 0.8 per cent.

The goat population decreased by 6.5 per cent in Malta and by 0.8 per cent in Gozo and Comino.

Overall, 3,418 goats (74.3 per cent) were found in Maltese holdings.

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