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Xjenza Online Vol. 2 Iss. 2 - October 2014
A 10 year review of the number of bovine dairy holdings and the dairy bovine population on the Maltese Islands

Authors: Mauro Buttigieg, Matteo Gianesella, Andrew James

Corresponding: Mauro Buttigieg (maurobut@go.net.mt)

Keywords: National Livestock Database, number of bovine dairy holdings, bovine population, Maltese Islands

Doi: http://dx.medra.org/10.7423/XJENZA.2014.2.13

Abstract:
The process of identi cation and registra- tion of bovines and bovine holdings on the Maltese Islands has been computerised since 2002, with the introduction of the National Livestock Database of Malta. This is a computerised and centralised system which has made collection, management and analysis of data possible. The aims of this paper were to study in detail ten year trends in the number of bovine dairy holdings together with the bovine population on these holdings and to compare these trends with those reported in other European countries. Six trends related to the number of bovine dairy holdings and their bovine population were analysed in the study. The general trends showed that there was a signi cant decrease in the number of dairy holdings, in the bovine population and in the number of female bovines greater than 2 years of age during the study period. The average herd size and the average number of females greater than 2 years of age on the dairy holdings showed no statistically signi cant changes. On the other hand, a signi cant increase in the ratio of female to male bovines was registered on these holdings.