There has been a slight ease in the number of beef cattle slaughtered in Department of Agriculture approved beef export plants.

During the week ending October 16, the weekly beef kill reached 35,683 head, a fall of just 318 head or 0.9% on the week before.

All of the main categories of cattle, with the exception of steers, posted a fall in throughput last week.

Young bull slaughterings posted the highest fall, with supplies down by 10.8% or 264 head on the week before.

Furthermore, aged bull, cow and heifers slaughterings all dropped last week, with supplies back by 33 head (-5.8%), -130 head (-1.6%) and 102 head (-1.3%) respectively.

However, there was a slight increase in steer slaughterings, with the weekly beef kill of these animals up 1.2% or 200 head on the week before.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Aged bulls: -264 head or -10.8%
  • Young bulls: -33 head or -5.8%
  • Steers: +200 head or +1.2%
  • Cows: -130 head or -1.6%
  • Heifers: -102 head or -1.3%
  • Total: -318 head or -0.9%

Cumulative beef cattle supplies

Figures from the Department of Agriculture also show that an additional 55,646 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 28.6% or 34,367 head on 2015.

Cow and heifer slaughterings have also increased, it shows, with an additional 20,981 cows culled this year, while heifer throughput has increased by 1.2% or 4,106 head.

However, official figures also show that there has been some decline in aged bull slaughterings, which have declined by 4,004 head or 14% on 2015, while steer slaughterings remain pretty much on par.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young bulls: +34,367 head or +28.6%
  • Aged bulls: -4,004 head or -14%
  • Steers: +191 head or 0%
  • Cows: +20,981 head or +8.2%
  • Heifers: +4,106 head or +1.2%
  • Total: +55,646 head or +4.5%