May 12, 2006 -- Total sheep numbers in the European Union (EU) were down roughly 2 percent in December 2005 compared to the previous year, according to the European Market Survey.
In the United Kingdom (UK), breeding ewe numbers were down 4 percent from 2004 levels, to 15.6 million head, while overall sheep numbers in 2005 fell by 3 percent, to 23.9 million head. Spain?s breeding numbers have dropped by 8 percent over the last two years, and its 2005 sheep flock was 1-percent lower than in 2004, at 22.51 million head. The UK and Spain combined account for approximately half of the total EU sheep flock.
Sheep numbers in France and Greece dropped slightly (by 2 percent and 1 percent) during 2005, to 8.76 million and 9.18 million head, respectively. Italy?s sheep flock fell by 2 percent in 2005, to 7.95 million head.
Reprinted from Meat Livestock Australia