June 29, 2011


Ireland's livestock slaughter numbers up from last year



Strong prices and good finishing conditions in Ireland have brought bigger numbers of cattle and sheep to slaughter in May, compared to last year.


The cattle kill was up 0.5% to 135,600, while sheep slaughters were up 13% to 187,200.


The higher numbers will be seen as farmer reaction to strong prices for lamb, cull ewes and cattle. The good grazing conditions also allowed farmers to move lambs faster to the point of slaughter and free up ewes for culling. Meanwhile, the pig kill increased by 12%.


However, the overall number of cattle slaughtered so far this year is 4.6% lower than in the corresponding period last year.


Industry analysts expect this drop to increase as the year progresses due to record levels of live exports in recent years which have reduced the number of cattle that would normally have been kept on for feeding on Irish farms. Over the same period, there was no change in sheep slaughterings while there was an increase of 9% in pig slaughterings.


Pig slaughterings were up right across the major pig producing countries in European the first quarter of the year.

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