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+ The annual sheep returns which have just been published are a complete answer to the fear which has been from time to time expressed that tlie increase m the numbers of our flocks would be insufficient to keep pace with tho rapid extension ot tho export of frozen mutton. There were not wanting persons who admitting the importance of the frozen rreat industry were of opinion that we should speedily reach the highest possible limit of the export, because according to their view we should speedily overtake the rate of increase of our flocks, and that the-iurther expan sion of the trade beyond a certain point was, therefore, not to be looked for. But the export has gone on growing from year to year until the annual tale has mounted up from a few thousand to over a million carcases, and yet New Zealand has more sheep than ever. On the 81st May, 1887 the numbers for the whole colony were 14,155,456, while the figures for the 31st May last were 15,040,298, showing an increase of 884,842. The whole of this is, however, due to the Napier district, which shows the enormous increase of 50 per cent upon the figures for 1887, these being 2,066,691, while those for 1883 are 3,112,073, a difference of no less than 1,G45,382. The other sheep districts, indeed, together show a decrease of 160,540, which deducted from the increase shown by the Napier district leaves the 884,842 already spoken of as the nett increase for the whole colony. The Canterbury and Westland district is responsible for nearly $he whole of the decrease, namely to the extent of 139,140. It will thus be seen that while the Canterbury and Westland district shows a falling off of about 2£ per cent, and Napier an increase of 50 per cent, the other sheep districts remain practically stationary. These figures speak volumeß for the carrying capacity of the Napier district, but it is, at the same time to be remembered that the export from Canterbury, has been very much larger. The figures for the Canterbury and Westland district stand as follows :— Number of Sheep on 31st May. 1887. 1888J • Waiau .. .. 200,481 .. 198,867 Cheviot County.. 80,000 .. 81,000 Ashley „ .. 713,835 .. 693,823 Selwyn „ .. 651,651 .. 600,920 Akaroa „ .. 253,237 .. 236,214 Ashburton „ .. 771,409 .. 756,105 Geraldine „ .. 633,205 .. 617,564 Mackenzie „ .. 442,493 .. 428,440 Waimate „ ... 656,991 .. 650,817 Weßtland „ .. 6,828 .. 7,240 4,410,130 4,270,990 The following are the totals for the whole colony and the various sheep districts, viz. :— 1887. 1888. Auckland .. .. 299,309 350,716 Napier .. .. 2,066,691 8,112,073 West Coast, N.I. .. 991,735 1,098,850 Wellington .. .. 1,148,580 1,107,357 Nelson .. .. 147,731 155,807 Marlborough.. ..1,111,438 1,119,026 Canterbury and Westland 4,410,130 4,270,990 Otago 3,979,842 3,825,479 14,155,456 15,040,298

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Bibliographic details

OUR FLOCKS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2000, 29 November 1888

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OUR FLOCKS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2000, 29 November 1888