Friday, 19th April 2019


The livestock industry contributes enormously to the UK’s agricultural economy and involves the farming of many types of animals, and their produce, for food. The farm types that are included in livestock farming are:

  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Pigs
  • Poultry and eggs
  • Dairy

There are over 300,000 working in the livestock industry, which makes up the majority of the agriculture workforce as a whole. Whilst there are mixed livestock farms, and farms that combine both arable and livestock farming, the majority of livestock businesses are in sheep and lambs.

Similar to other areas of agriculture, the modern livestock sector is made up of many small businesses employing only a few members of staff. The senior members of businesses are often around retirement age and there is a shortage of young entrants. With many different job roles and specialities available, the livestock industry can offer a spectrum of opportunities for skilled, hard-working young people.

The industry is developing all the time for a number of reasons, including changes in the typical sizes of farms and the increasing demand for locally grown produce. There have been debates about the production of livestock in relation to climate change and the environment with calls from environmental organisations to review the methods of producing livestock in the UK.

The treatment of animals in the livestock industry reflects the views of society, with an increasing demand for free range and ethically farmed meat. The treatment and upkeep of animals affects their quality of life and it is important to be aware of all the health regulations in place to prevent the spread of disease.