Weekly sheep kill figures remain steady

For the week ending November 20 sheep kill figures remained steady, with official figures showing an overall decrease of less than 1%.

In total 140 less sheep were sent to slaughter last week, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

This follows on from a significant increase in sheep kill figures of 14% or close to 7,300 head of sheep in the week ending November 13.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Lambs: +133 head or +0.3%
  • Ewes and rams: -308 head or -3%
  • Total: -140 head or -0.2%

There was little or no movement on sheep kill figures across the board last week, with the combined number of ewes and rams sent to slaughter reporting the biggest difference of -3% or 308 head less.

In total, there was 58,215 head of sheep sent to slaughter across the country, Department figures show.

Source: Department of Agriculture
Source: Department of Agriculture

Cumulative Sheep Kill

For the year-to-date the overall sheep kill is 1% ahead of figures for the same period last year.

Overall, the total number sheep sent to slaughter in Ireland now stands at 2.34m head in 2016, the Department figures show.

The increase in sheep throughput can be attributed to the 25% increase in the number of ewe and ram slaughterings this year.

This represented an increase of 70,125 head leaving the total figure for the year-to-date just shy of 350,000 head.

Hogget numbers have also enjoyed an increase this year of 7% or 42,521 head, however, numbers are very low at this time of year with just 111 hoggets sent to slaughter last week.

Meanwhile, the cumulative lamb kill for the year fell has fallen by 6% this year-to-date or a decrease of 83,127 head, leaving the total figure at just over 1.31m head this year so far.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:
  • Lambs: -83,127 head or -6%
  • Hoggets: +42,521 head or +7%
  • Ewes and rams: +70,125 head or +25%
  • Total: +29,480 or +1%