Big jump in Irish cattle slaughter numbers

By Alyson Magee

- Last updated on GMT

Cattle slaughter is up in Ireland
Cattle slaughter is up in Ireland

Related tags: Cattle, Beef, Livestock

Cattle throughput is up by over 9% for the year-to-date in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), including increases of 20% for steers and 13% for cows, driven by stronger trading as well as faster disposal of stock and higher mortality rates due to the fodder crisis.

The meat export plant figures for the year to 25 May, supplied by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, highlight a 9% increase in the prime cattle slaughter year-on-year in contrast to a drop of almost 4% for GB over the same period.

Cattle throughput totalled 582,186 head for the year-to-date in RoI, with an increase of almost 5% in the slaughter of heifers but a small drop in throughput of young bulls.

Provisional figures covering the same period for Northern Ireland point to a similar year-on-year increase of over 11% in cow throughput and over 6% in heifers, while total cattle numbers processed at meat export premises are thought to have increased by over 5% to 179,675 head.

Farmers on both sides of the border have suffered from a shortage of fodder after poor growing conditions last year and the cold snap this Easter, prompting earlier marketing of stock to mitigate additional forage costs. Throughput numbers have increased week-on-week throughout the year as the fodder crisis escalated.  

Higher prices have also prevailed this year, with a strong market reported for cows including record trading levels in auction marts.

In RoI, throughput totalled 178,749 head for steers and 135,366 head for cows in the year-to-date.

Related topics: Meat

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