asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the size of the national dairy herd at the present time; by what proportion this has reduced in the last four years; and how this contraction in the United Kingdom compares with that in other member states of the Community.
The most recent estimates available indicate that in December 1984 there were 3,311,000 dairy cows in the national dairy herd. This represents an increase of about 1 per cent. on December 1980. For the Community as a whole the dairy herd has declined by 0·5 per cent. over the same period.