Last week’s beef kill has seen the number of cattle presented for slaughter in the heifer category drop by over 800 head for the week commencing November 22, 2021.

Figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) for cattle processed at DAFM-approved slaughter plants show that a total of 35,534 head of cattle (including veal) were processed last week.

Last week’s kill is down a marginal 118 head (including veal) on the 35,653 head of cattle that were processed in the previous week.

The size of the national weekly cattle kill has been falling since the week after the October Bank Holiday. However, with demand for Irish beef as strong as ever, the drop in kill numbers is coming as a result of the tightening supply as opposed to any change in the high demand.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Young bulls: 3,019 head (+42 head);
  • Bulls: 514 head (+59 head);
  • Steers: 13,151 head (+130 head);
  • Cows: 8,655 head (+430 head);
  • Heifers: 10,120 head (-815 head);
  • Total (including veal): 35,534 head (-118 head).

Looking at the above figures we can see all categories increased marginally last week excluding the heifer category which dropped by a significant 815 head.

The heifer kill for the week commencing November 15, was the highest since January so a drop may have been inevitable in this category.

Interestingly, last week’s kill witnessed the highest weekly kill of cows so far this year at 8,655 – up 430 head from the previous week.

Comparing last week’s kill to figures from the same week last year, we see numbers are 1,303 head behind the same week last year, mainly in the heifer and steer category.

The cumulative beef kill this year (including veal) is now 77,659 head of cattle behind last year’s kill to date.