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Cattle

QMS aims to generate confidence in the Scottish cattle sector and to improve its sustainability.

This work is led by the Scottish Cattle Industry Group and focuses on on efforts to improve uptake of grassroots technology.

Particular attention is paid to reducing production costs and increasing the overall efficiency of the cattle sector through projects on health, nutrition and management.

In 2014, Scottish cattle farmers generated a turnover of £837m, some 27.5% of all Scottish agricultural output, from the sale of animals for meat production and breeding.  71% of the cows in Scotland are beef cows and only 29% are dairy cows.  This is the highest ratio of beef to dairy cows among the countries of UK and Europe.

Although Scotland has 17.5% of the UK cow population it has 27% of the UK beef cow population.

During 2014, 558,000 calves were born and registered in Scotland.  81% of these were sired by beef bulls with the most popular breeds being; Limousin, Charolais, Aberdeen Angus and Simmental.

During 2014 Scottish abattoirs produced almost 170,000 tonnes of beef almost 20% of the beef produced by UK abattoirs and three-quarters of this was sold to customers outside Scotland.

The above information was derived from data published by the Scottish Government. More information about the shape and scale of Scotland’s red meat industry can be found in the Scottish Red Meat Industry Industry Profile, published by QMS each June.