Beef cattle numbers continue to climb

The number of beef cattle slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants continue to climb on a week-to-week basis.

Last week a total of 35,411 cattle were slaughtered in Ireland, figures from the Department show, an increase of 305 head or 1% compared to the week before.

This brings the number of cattle slaughtered in Ireland to over 70,000 head over the past two weeks, over 10,000 more than widely recognised factory demand level.

Young bulls and steers make up the majority of last week’s increase, with both rising by 101 head (+4.9%) and 633 head (+3.9%) respectively.

There was also a slight increase in aged bull throughput (+1%), while the weekly heifer kill also increased marginally, with an extra 90 heifers slaughtered in Department approved plants last week.

However, despite the overall weekly increase, the number of cows slaughtered actually dropped, with 501 head fewer slaughterings during the week ending October 1.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young bull: +101 head or +4.9%
  • Bull: +5 head or +1%
  • Steer: +633 head or 3.9%
  • Cow: -501 head or -6.1%
  • Heifer: +90 head or +1.1%
  • Total: +305 head or 1%[/colored_box]

Cumulative beef kill

Figures from the Department of Agriculture also show that an additional 46,444 cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland this year compared to the same time in 2015.

Young bulls account for the majority of this increase, with year-on-year throughput up 28.5% or 33,224 head on 2015.

Cow and heifer slaughterings have also increased, it shows, with an additional 17,529 cows culled this year, while heifer throughput has increased slightly by 0.7% or 2,148 head.

However, official figures also show that there has been declines in the cumulative aged bull and steer kill. Aged bull throughput has declined by 14%, it shows, while steer slaughterings have dropped by 2,602 head or 0.6%.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bull: +33,224 head or +28.5%
  • Bull: -3,870 head  or -14%
  • Steer: -2,602 head or -0.6%
  • Cow: +17,529 head or +7.2%
  • Heifer: +2,148 head or +0.7%
  • Total: +46,444 head or +4%