More pigs and fewer bovine animals slaughtered in 2020

Agriculture & fishery
More pigs and fewer bovine animals slaughtered in 2020

In 2020, 25.85 million animals were slaughtered on a monthly basis. That is what emerged from the slaughtering figures for 2020 published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office. In terms of weight, pigs account for the largest share (61%, 929,000 pigs on a monthly basis). Chickens register the highest numbers, with 24.8 million chickens slaughtered per month.

Modest increase for pigs and chickens, striking decrease for bovine animals

Over the year 2020, 780,000 bovine animals were slaughtered. That is a decrease of 7% compared to the previous year, confirming the downward trend already started in 2017.

Throughout the year, 11.2 million pigs were slaughtered. This is an increase of 4% compared to 2019.  This recovery brings the number of pig slaughters to a level slightly lower than the number of slaughters in 2018.

297 million chickens were slaughtered in 2020. We can see here a slight increase of 1 %.


Pigs register the highest weight

  • With a share of 61% in terms of weight, the pig sector remains the largest contributor of slaughtered animals. That is 1.10 billion kg of slaughter weight every year.
  • The poultry sector accounts for 25 % of the slaughter weight, with 441 million kg of slaughtered chickens.
  • The bovine sector has a share of 14 % in terms of weight, with a total of 255 million kg of slaughtered animals.


Chickens register the highest numbers per month

If we look at the average number of slaughtered animals per month, we find the following:

  • 25 million chickens
  • 929,000 pigs
  • 65,000 bovine animals
  • 63,000 turkeys
  • 10,000 sheep
  • 4,000 other poultry
  • 3,000 ducks
  • 1,500 goats
  • 300 horses