70,000 less cattle slaughtered in past 8 weeks – Bord Bia

Due to ongoing disputes between farmers and meat processors in the beef sector, approximately 70,000 less cattle were slaughtered over the past two months than last year, according to Bord Bia senior manager of the beef and livestock team Joe Burke.

The manager was speaking in a panel discussion with AgriLand live-streaming presenter Claire Mc Cormack, alongside Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture chairman Pat Deering and Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Kildare county chairman and vice presidential candidate Brian Rushe.

When asked about the backlog of cattle yet to be killed, due to the factory protests and blockades, Burke said:

“Obviously the impact of the protests or of the activity over the last eight weeks – it has been quite considerable – particularly over the most recent period.

Our estimates would suggest that, so far over that eight-week period, we’ve slaughtered about 70,000 less cattle than we had in the same period last year.

Continuing, the manager added:

“On the other hand, at market level, our customers are being let down; they’ve not been able to get the product, so that’s obviously the crux of the matter and the impasse that we’re in at the moment.

“Now that’s not to say that there’s that full backlog, because it would have been expected that maybe cattle numbers may have tightened up a bit by now anyway based on the high kill earlier on in the year.

But it would certainly be fair to say that there are additional numbers of cattle; it’s maybe not that full 70,000 but there are probably 40,000 or 50,000.

“Somewhere in that region with additional animals that are anticipating slaughter and hopefully will get going and we’ll see a rebalancing of the market after that,” Burke concluded.