Livestock slaughterings in 2019: How did the numbers stack up?

The number of cattle slaughtered in December 2019 increased by 7.9% when compared to December 2018, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Released today, the office revealed that a further comparison of December 2019 and December 2018 slaughtering figures also show that sheep slaughterings increased by some 14.7%.

Meanwhile, pig slaughterings increased even more by 17.3%, according to the CSO.

A comparison of figures for January-December 2019 with the corresponding period of 2018 shows that:
  • Cattle slaughterings decreased by 2.2%;
  • Sheep slaughterings decreased by 5.4%; and
  • Pig slaughterings increased by 0.3%.

In a breakdown of livestock throughput, CSO figures reveal that 145,000 head of cattle were slaughtered last month, compared to 134,400 head the previous December.

Meanwhile, 268,500 head of sheep were put through processing plants in December, compared to 234,100 head recorded in December 2018.

Finally, some 270,100 head of pigs went through the plants last month – up almost 40,000 head on the 230,300 that were killed in the same month in 2018.

In total, 1,854,100 head of cattle were slaughtered in 2019, down from 1,896,000 the previous year.

More substantially, 3,050,700 head of sheep went through the plants last year, a dip of about 174,000 head on the 3,224,300 head processed in 2018.

Finally, pig numbers remained fairly stable in 2019 at 3,457,400 head, up slightly on the 2018 figure of 3,446,700 head.