The Dutch livestock has barely shrunk since last year. This is evident from the Agricultural Census published on Wednesday by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The number of pigs fell by 4 percent to 11.4 million, while the cattle population remained virtually the same at 3.8 million. The number of dairy goats increased slightly to 482,000. Reducing livestock numbers is a politically sensitive topic, but it is considered necessary to reduce nitrogen emissions and thus limit damage to nature.
Despite the decrease in the number of pigs, the average number of pigs per farm remained the same. In the past ten years, more than three thousand pig farmers have stopped thanks to buy-out programs, but the remaining farmers have almost doubled their pig herd from 1,905 in 2011 to 3,363 in 2021. According to the CBS, the largest companies are located in Limburg and Noord-Brabant with an average of 5,300 and 4,800 pigs.
The number of dairy goats increased only slightly in the past year after years of significant increase. In Gelderland and Noord-Brabant, where a goat stop was introduced in 2017 because residents in the area ran a greater risk of lung diseases, growth only leveled off last year. The most goats can be found in these two provinces, with 141,000 (North Brabant) and 117,000 (Gelderland).