New Zealand had 29.8 million sheep at 30 June 2014, Statistics NZ says.
“The number of sheep fell by three percent from 2013. The last time the sheep number was below 30 million was back in 1943,” agriculture statistics manager Neil Kelly says.
At 30 June 2014, the number of dairy cattle had increased three percent, while the total number of beef cattle declined slightly. The total number of dairy cattle was just under 6.7 million, with increases of 67,000 dairy cattle in the North Island and 148,000 in the South Island.
“These increases came mainly from the key dairy regions of Waikato, Canterbury, and Southland,” says Kelly.
In 2014 the number of deer fell below one million for the first time, decreasing by 70,000 (7 percent). The number of deer peaked at 1.8 million in 2004, but this has been falling since 2009.
The 2014 Agricultural Production Survey involved farmers and foresters in New Zealand. It covers land use, animal farming (livestock), arable crops, horticultural crops, forestry, and farming practices (including fertiliser and cultivation). The survey was conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.