Week-on-week prime cattle kill continues to fall – Department

The number of prime beef cattle slaughtered in Ireland fell again last week, figures from the Department of Agriculture’s beef kill data show.

Prime cattle throughput, or the number of young bulls, steers and heifers slaughtered fell by about 400 head during the week ending February 28 on the week before.

The young bull kill is starting to show signs of slipping following a 44% increase in throughput in the first six weeks of the year.

Department of Agriculture figures show that the throughput of young bulls has dropped by 14% (732 head) over the last two weeks.

The number of heifers killed are also falling from week-to-week. Between February 21 and February 28, heifer throughput at Irish beef export plants fell by 260 head (2.6%).

However, despite the throughput of prime cattle falling, the week-on-week steer kill has increased.

Department figures show that steer throughput jumped by 585 head during the week ending February 28 on the previous week.

The figures also show that there has been little movement in the cull kill over the previous two weeks, with cow throughput falling by 19 head and the bull kill rising by 55 head.

Beef kill higher in 2016 than 2015

The number of Irish cattle slaughtered in the first two months of 2016 is 5% higher than 2015 levels, the Department figures show.

The cumulative number of beef cattle slaughtered at beef export plants increased by 1,539 head in 2016 on the same period in 2015, Department data shows.

The figures show that the young bull kill has increased by 206 head, the heifer kill has rose by 818 head and the steer kill has jumped by 478 head in 2016 on 2015 levels.

But, the cull kill has dropped in the first two months of 2016 compared to the year earlier. The cull kill has dropped by 251 head, while the bull kill is back by 224 head.