§ Mr. David Steel
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the decrease in numbers in the national beef herd in each of the last six years.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
About two-thirds of our beef supplies come from the dairy herd, and one-third from the beef herd. Figures for the United Kingdom herds, based on the respective December censuses, are as follows:
Dairy Cows Beef Cows (million head) 1976 3.318 1.747 1977 3.327 1.641 1978 (old basis) 3.388 1.594 (new basis) 3.392 1.602 1979 3.333 1.522 1980 3.277 1.451 1981 3.295 1.410
From 1978 the coverage of the published census results was changed to include very small holdings, but this had only a slight effect on the figures.