The number of dairy calves being slaughtered has fallen in 2024.

The latest information from the Department of Agriculture shows that 1,053 calves were slaughtered and processed under six weeks of age to date.

This is down 4,027 head or 80% on the 2023 figure.

Bord Bia changed its rules for the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) in November 2023, banning the slaughter of healthy calves under eight weeks of age from 1 January 2024.

There were 30,775 calves slaughtered in 2023, up from 28,388 head in 2022.

Any farmer found in breach of the calf slaughter ban could risk losing their SDAS approval and will have to put a calf breeding plan in place on their farm in conjunction with their co-op.