How many cows of UK origin are slaughtered in Irish plants?

Almost 5,500 cows of UK origin were slaughtered in Irish meat factories in 2018, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The minister was responding to a parliamentary question put forward by independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice, who asked for the number of cows of UK origin slaughtered in factories here per month in 2017 and 2018, respectively and in January 2019.

In his response to the question, Minister Creed said that statistics have been extracted from the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Identification Movement (AIM) database.

The department categorised cows into two sections: females over two years-of-age on the import date; and of which, females over two years old that had calved.

Based on the categories the total number of females greater than two years of age bearing UK tags imported for slaughter into the country in 2017 was 6,488, of which 5,551 had calved.

The corresponding figure for 2018 was 5,429 and 5,087 respectively.

On the department’s AIM database the origin of an animal is based on the location of the particular herd it is born into.

Therefore, Irish tagged animals which are re-imported are excluded from these statistics.

According to the figures, the largest number of UK-origin cows were slaughtered in November in 2018, with 738 animals killed.

By contrast, much higher numbers of cows were slaughtered in 2017; the month with the most animals killed was September – when 924 animals were killed.