Slaughter figures for cattle, sheep and pigs all dropped in January 2020 when compared to the same month of 2019, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

Cattle slaughtering was down 4% last month compared to January 2019, at 163,900 head (down from 170,600 head), while 255,300 head of sheep were slaughtered last month, down from 260,300 head (a drop of 1.9%).

The largest fall in slaughter figures (in terms of percentages) was for pigs, with 5.9% less pigs slaughtered in January 2020 compared to January 2019 (328,700 head falling to 309,400 head).

When these figures are looked at in terms of carcass weight, the figure for cattle rose slightly, from 57.1t in January 2019 to 58.6t in January 2020.

The carcass weight figure dropped very marginally for sheep, from 5.8t to 5.7t, while for pigs the figure also saw a slight decrease, from 29.7t to 28.2t.

December to January

On a month-to-month comparison (December 2019 to January 2020), around 20,500 head of cattle more were slaughtered last month then in December. Some 143,400 head were slaughtered in December 2019.

On the December to January comparison, the number of sheep that were slaughtered fell by almost 13,000 head. 268,000 head of sheep were slaughtered in December 2019.

The number of pigs slaughtered over the course of the last two months increased, with almost 40,000 head more being slaughtered. The December figure stood at 269,900 head.

When we look at this time-frame in terms of carcass weights, we see that the cattle figure increased by almost 10t – from 49t in December 2019.

Meanwhile, the figure for sheep again saw a marginal decline from 5.8t in December 2019, while for pigs, the figure increased by almost 5t from 23.7t.