The number of cattle slaughtered in September 2019 decreased by 40.2% when compared to September 2018, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Some 96,000 head of cattle were slaughtered last month, CSO figures show; this is down a whopping 64,600 head on the 160,600 slaughtered in September 2018.

A further comparison of September 2019 and September 2018 slaughtering figures also show that sheep slaughterings decreased by 15.9%, from 293,000 last year to 246,500 head last month.

Meanwhile, pig slaughterings increased by 2.5% from 274,900 to 281,700.

The CSO also revealed that a comparison of figures for January-September 2019 with the corresponding period of 2018 shows that cattle slaughterings decreased by 3.1% from 1.397 million head to 1.354 million head.

On a more dramatic note, sheep slaughterings decreased by 7.5% for the nine months from January to September of this year, from 2.368 million to 2.19 million.

Pig slaughterings decreased by 0.2% from 2.599 million to 2.594 million head.

Almost 3,000 new herd numbers registered in 2019

Meanwhile, some 2,891 new herd numbers were registered to date in 2019, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has confirmed.

There are currently 154,177 herd numbers active in the country, Minister Creed noted, responding to a parliamentary question on the matter from Longford-Westmeath TD Peter Burke.

Over an almost nine-year period, the largest figure of new herd numbers registered was recorded in 2012 – with some 8,473 granted on that year.