Human Interest

New Zealand has fewer than five sheep per person, lowest ever ratio

Sydney, Australia, May 22 (EFE).- The ratio of sheep to humans in New Zealand has fallen to 4.9 per person, its lowest level since the mid-19th century, New Zealand’s national statistics service Stats NZ said Monday.

In a statement, Stats NZ expert Jason Attewell said the current ratio is the lowest since sheep counts began in the mid-19th century in the country, which has 25.3 million of these animals and about 5.2 million inhabitants.

Stats NZ said the number of sheep fell by 400,000 in the last year to 25.3 million with a downward trend throughout the country.

“In 1982 New Zealand sheep numbers famously sat at 22 per person. Australia currently has three times as many sheep as New Zealand, though their ratio is only around three sheep to every Aussie,” Attewell said.

The increase in costs and the fall in the price of wool has caused the farming of sheep in New Zealand to decrease, having reached more than 70 million in the 1980s.

Last year, the New Zealand government announced that from 2025 it would impose burp taxes on sheep and cows to limit greenhouse gasses, a move that sparked protests by farmers who took to the streets with their tractors in protest. EFE


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