UK Cow Numbers

Published 3 July 19

Defra figures for June 2018 show that the number of dairy cows in the UK herd decreased by 9,000 head (-0.5%) when compared with June 2017 standing at 1.883 million. Despite this there has been an increase of 5.7% (101,000 dairy cows) compared to the five years to June 2018.

Figures for December 2018 show the total dairy cow numbers stood at 1.879 million, a decrease of circa 4 thousand heads on June 2018 and 25,000 on December 2017.

The number of female dairy cattle aged over 24 months at June 2018 that have not calved fell by 16,000 on the year to 330,000. The number of female dairy cattle aged between 12 and 24 months decreased by 45,000 on the year to 522,000.

Compared to June 2017, the number of dairy cows in Wales increased by 3,000, year-on-year. England and Northern Ireland saw small decreases of 7,000 and 5,000 respectively. Scotland numbers were up just under 1,000 on the year.

For more information on average milk yields click here.

Note:  Different methods are used for calculating cow numbers in the UK. CTS (Cattle Tracing System) data has been used by Scotland since 2006 and has been used since 2005 in England and 2004 for Wales. From 2005 Northern Ireland has used APHIS.

December survey data is also available from the link on this page.

UK Cow Numbers _table


130_uk _cow _numbers

 Sources: DEFRA

Cow numbers by county are available via the link on the right side of this page.