The number of beef animals slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved plants increased by less than 1% for the week ending November 20.

The latest figures from the Department show that the total number of cattle processed last week was 34,682 head, an increase of 302 head on the previous week.

All categories reported an increase in numbers processed except for cows and steers, with a decrease of close to 5% seen in both of these categories.

The largest increase in numbers processed was seen in young bulls, where 403 more head (13.4%) were killed last week, continuing on from the increase last week of 472 head or 18.6%.

Meanwhile, steer numbers were down by 5.4% this week of 744 head, the most significant fall of the week, figures show.

Cow numbers also witnessed a slight fall of 3.8%, following on from the previous week’s significant increase of 20% or 1,447 head.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young Bulls: +403 head or +13.4%
  • Aged Bulls: +59 head or +12.6%
  • Steers: -744 head or -5.4%
  • Cows: -329 head or -3.8%
  • Heifers: +894 head or +10.4%
  • Total: +302 head or +0.8%

Heifers also saw a significant rise in numbers sent to slaughter for the second week in a row, an increase of 894 head or 10.4%.

Cumulative Kill

Beef slaughter figures for 2016 dropped slightly to 4.9% compared to the same period last year, with the total kill for the year to date standing at 1,452,829 head.

The majority of categories continue to report an increase in numbers, with only aged bulls and steers showing a fall in numbers.

Aged bull numbers are significantly down on last years figures to date, as figures show a difference of 15.5% or 4,153 head less.

However, young bulls continue to show the highest increase in kill numbers, with figures showing a 22.4% difference to date compared to this time last year.

Despite a slight fall this week, cow numbers remain on course to better than least year. To date there has been 29,519 more cows sent to slaughter this year compared to 2015.

Year-on-year beef kill changes:
  • Young Bulls: +37,931 head or +22.4%
  • Aged Bulls: -4,153 head or -15.5%
  • Steers: -635 head or -0.1%
  • Cows: +29,519 head or +9.3%
  • Heifers: +8,699 head or +2.3%
  • Total: +71,165 head or +4.9%