Number of young bulls killed back 7,000

The beef kill for 2015 up until February 8 was almost identical to last years figures, but the number of young bulls being killed is back almost 7,000 to date this year.

However, the kill for steers is up, at 60,647, which is up 6,153 on the same timeframe for 2014. ICSA has called for realistic age and weight requirements for bull beef at the recent Beef Roundtable negotiations.

The drop in the number of young bulls being killed follows a similar trend in Northern Ireland in recent weeks.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture here show that the steer kill for up to February 8 was 2,484 up on the previous time for last year at 11,062.

The figures, released by the Department of Agriculture, show that cumulative cow kill numbers were 3,298 up on the first few weeks of 2014.

The young bull kill also fell significantly in 2014 in Northern Ireland due to changes in the market whereby the value of over 16 month bulls fell sharply early in the year, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) in Northern Ireland.

The LMC says with these bulls out of spec for retail contracts in the UK, and mainland European markets returning poorer prices than the UK beef market, the value of these cattle fell accordingly, as processors discounted these cattle relative to in-spec under 16 month bulls.

Final figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that the total beef kill in Ireland last year was the largest since 2007.

Last year saw a total of 1,643,772 head of cattle slaughtered at meat plants around the country up over 10% on the 2013 figure of 1,491,235.