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Fewer than six sheep per person in NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/01/2017
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Baad news for those who love to joke about New Zealand's sheep population: There are now fewer than six sheep per person.

New Zealanders have also long been outnumbered by our livestock population, and our sheep-to-person ratio is high relative to other countries, double that of Australia, but numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 30 years.

In 1982, sheep numbers hit a high when there were more than 70 million, or 22 for every person.

The national flock dropped by 1.5 million to about 27.6 million in 2016, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday.

In the year to 30 June 2016, beef cattle and deer numbers also fell, but the number of dairy cattle remained steady - at 6.5 million.

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