Cattle forecasts currently show a 16.7% increase in the number of beef animals destined for slaughter when compared to the previous year.

According to data supplied by the Livestock and Meat Commission, there were 130,638 beef cattle on-farm aged 24 to 30 months at 1 May, up from 111,925 head in May 2023.

Beef cattle between 18 and 24 months of age is also higher year-on-year, although there are fewer animals within younger age categories, most notably in calves up to six months.

Cattle kill

Statistics published by DAERA show the 2024 prime cattle kill totalled 161,462 at 1 June, a 4% increase on the 155,109 animals processed to the same date in 2023.

The cow kill is also higher year-on-year, albeit with a more modest 2% increase to 46,812.

Hoggets and lambs processed in 2024 stands at 158,241, a 13% drop from the 181,892 animals recorded in 2023.

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