In a situation described as udder chaos, officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) admitted in Parliamentary questions that 20,979 of the animals had been mislaid.
The livestock should have been logged on Defra's Cattle Tracing System, devised to protect public and animal health after the BSE and foot and mouth epidemics.
However the cattle have disappeared from the system, while another 1039 are believed to have been loaded onto cattle trucks and never heard of again, according to the Daily Star.
Jonathan Shaw, Defra minister, was forced to admit the embarrassing blunder in response to a Parliamentary question.
Peter Ainsworth, the Shadow Environment secretary, said he was astonished at the loss.
"Laptops, data, and now cows, is there anything this Government can not misplace?" he told the Daily Star.
"Defra's performance would do credit to Little Bo Peep."...
**Now content with losing our data now they can't even keep tabs on cattle, quite how exactly is this worthless shower going to ensure that the DNA database/ID cards are run properly?