Sources & Methods


Animal production statistics cover three main sub-domains based on three pieces of relevant legislation:

  • Livestock and meat statistics are collected under Regulation (EC) No. 1165/2008.  They cover monthly meat production, as activity of slaughterhouses and annual livestock statistics.
  • Milk and milk product statistics are collected under Decision 97/80/EC implementing Directive 96/16/EC.  They cover farm production and utilisation of milk, collection and production activity by dairies and statistics on the structure of dairies.
  • Statistics on eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks are collected under Regulation (EC) No. 617/2008 for implementing Regulation (EC) No. 1234/2007 (Single CMO Regulation).  They cover annual statistics on the structure and the monthly activity of hatcheries as well as reports on the external trade of chicks.


Methodological description

All data regarding monthly meat statistics together with annual cattle, sheep and goats stocks is obtained from the civil abattoir, while for pig stocks an annual census is undertaken among the breeders.  Statistics on eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks’ data are also collected directly from the civil abattoir, while milk and milk product statistics are collected entirely from the Malta Dairy Products.  Poultry slaughtering data is received from all local private poultry slaughter houses. 

Accuracy and reliability of data

Animal production data is checked for consistency and compared with data from previous months. In case discrepancies emerge, the respective administrative sources are contacted again to update or verify the figures.  The same procedure is applied for the annual pig census.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

A number of news releases related to animal production were published on the NSO’s website as scheduled in the Advanced Release Calendar.  The cattle census, the sheep and goats’ census, and the pig census news releases were published annually, referring to the preceding year. The last news releases were published in 2015 for reference year 2014. 

The meat production news release is published bi-annually, normally two months after the preceding 6-month period.

Animal production statistics data are collected and transmitted to Eurostat within the stipulated timeframes according to the sub-domain in question.

Accessibility and clarity of data

Tables on animal production are also included in the annual publication ‘Agriculture and Fisheries’ which is available on the NSO’s website. The publication was last published in 2016 for reference year 2014.

A quality report on crop statistics is compiled according to an established structure and sent to Eurostat every 3 years.  A similar report is available on the NSO’s metadata website.  

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

The data collected could be compared with the data of other European Union member states since all the countries follow the established guidelines of the stipulated regulations mentioned earlier.

Livestock statistics are comparable as from 2002 onwards.  Meat statistics, milk and milk products are comparable from 1995 onwards, while hatcheries data is comparable from 2004 onwards. 

All the data collected for each of the domains mentioned above are used to compile the Economic Accounts for Agriculture and therefore data is comparable between different statistical domains.

The National Accounts section within the NSO makes use of the collected data which ensures internal consistency.


Other Documents Date Format
Pig Census Questionnaire N/A
Inflation Calculator News releases calendar Request for Information NACE Code queries
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