Last week’s beef kill witnessed the highest weekly throughput of cows to date this year, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The number of cows processed at DAFM-approved factories in the week ending June 26, stood at 8,992 – the highest weekly cow throughput so far this year, as mentioned.

Of these, 4,161, or 52% fell under the P-grade category.

The total number of cattle processed at DAFM sites last week stood at just over 32,450 head (excluding veal), bringing the total beef kill to date this year to 826,644 head (excluding veal).

This year’s beef kill is now running over 80,000 cattle ahead of last year, with the largest volume of cattle falling under the steer category, followed by the heifer category.

As the table above indicates, this year’s steer throughput is running almost 28,000 bullocks ahead of the same time period last year, with the number of heifers processed running over 16,500 head ahead of last year.

The number of cows processed this year is also running ahead, by 32,501 head.

Why are all cattle grades and prices not reported by DAFM?

As of December 2021, there are 31 plants under DAFM control (with DAFM veterinary staff) whose kill figures are included in the department’s weekly kill figures.

Of these 31 plants mentioned above, 27 report prices to DAFM on a weekly basis. The legal criteria for price reporting is as follows: Any factory slaughtering >20,000 adult bovines/year must report prices on a weekly basis to DAFM.

Price-reporting factories slaughter approximately 94% of the national beef kill.

All animals that are slaughtered in the 31 DAFM plants are graded, but not all of these grades are returned to the DAFM on a weekly basis as it is not mandatory to do so under price-reporting legislation.