Cattle and hogs are the predominant livestock in El Salvador. Cattle are of the "criollo" type and are used for production of both meat and milk. The dairy sector continues to suffer from inefficient production methods, poor animal genetic quality, and diseases. There are over 100 slaughterhouses operating illegally and without sanitary control. The government plans to rebuild the livestock sector through financial and technological assistance.
The poultry industry is one of El Salvador's most organized and efficient agri-businesses, divided into smaller family farms and large commercial operations. The poultry industry directly generates roughly 6,000 jobs (60% of which are in rural areas), with an additional 20,000 secondary jobs. Commercial production accounts for 80% of poultry meat and about 75% of egg production.
In 2001 there were 1,216,000 head of cattle. The hog population rose from 390,000 in 1950 to 560,000 in 1979 but then declined to 150,000 in 2001. Other livestock included 96,000 horses, 24,000 mules, 15,000 goats, and 7,200,000 chickens. In 2001, milk production was 388,000 tons. A total of 53,000 tons of eggs were produced during the same year.