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Sheep number falls to six for each person
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  20 January 2017

Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2016 (provisional)  –  Media Release

The total number of sheep was down by just over 5 percent between June 2015 and June 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today. Provisional figures show that the number of sheep in New Zealand fell by 1.5 million, down to 27.6 million at 30 June 2016.

“Between 2006 and 2016 the number of sheep reduced from just over 40 million, a drop of around 30 percent,” agricultural production statistics manager Stuart Pitts said.

“We now have fewer than six sheep for each person. This is down from 1982's historic high, when there were over 70 million sheep, or 22 for every person.”

In the year to 30 June 2016, beef cattle and deer numbers also fell, but the number of dairy cattle remained steady – at 6.5 million.

These provisional figures are from the 2016 Agricultural Production Survey, which Statistics NZ conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

This release covers key livestock numbers, and forestry harvesting and planting information. Results for other variables will be released as they become available. Final results, including more detailed commentary and regional statistics, will be available in May 2017.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: Stuart Pitts, Auckland 09 920 9100, info@stats.govt.nz
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 20 January 2017 

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