Romania has some 3.4 million ha (8.3 million acres) of pastures. Animal production in Romania has developed somewhat more rapidly than crop production. The 1970 value of total livestock production, including the increase in herds and flocks as well as livestock products, was slightly more than double the level of 1938, and the 1974 value was 34% above that of 1970. In view of the initially low level of Romanian livestock production, development has been slow, however. The major reasons for the inadequate increases had been lack of economic incentives, insufficient fodder, and inadequate shelter. Since the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime in 1989, privatization of much of the grazing land has begun. In order to improve livestock raising, the government continues to stress agricultural modernization.
The livestock numbers (in thousands) for 2001 were cattle, 2,870; hogs, 4,797; sheep, 7,657; and poultry, 70,076. After several years of livestock reduction, the hog and poultry inventories rose at the end of 1995, due to increases in the private sector. Sheep numbers have dropped because of exports. State farms were also forced to cut their flocks due to reduced grazing land and financial difficulties.
Production of livestock food products for 2001 consisted of 957,000 tons of meat, 4,457,000 tons of cow's milk, 324,000 tons of sheep's milk, 38,000 tons of cheese, 276,000 tons of eggs, and 6,500 tons of butter. In 2001, exports of meat amounted to $18.6 million.