Total cattle kill fell by 10pc in 2012, says CSO

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The total cattle kill last year was down a massive 9.7pc compared to 2011, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

However, the kill for January this year showed a significant recovery, with slaughterings up 9.8pc on 2012 figures.

There was an even more dramatic increase in the number of sheep killed this January.

The overall kill for the month was up 33pc on the January 2012 figure.

The total cattle kill for 2012 was 1.483m head, back from 1.642m head in 2011. This was a drop of 159,000 head.


The fall-off in the overall kill was reflected in the tonnage of beef produced. Output was down almost 50,000t, falling from 546,700t in 2011 to 495,300t in 2012.

In contrast, the total sheep kill last year was up 11.6pc on 2011.

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By the end of December 2.69m sheep were killed, compared to 2.41m during the previous 12 months – a difference of 280,000 head.

The number of pigs killed in 2012 relative to 2011 was also up, increasing from 2.905m to 2.972m or 67,000 head.

The kill figures for cattle, pigs and sheep were all up for January 2013 relative to last year.


The January cattle kill jumped from 124,100 head last year to 136,200 head this year.

The surge in the number of cattle slaughtered has taken place despite the ongoing 'horsemeat' scandal.

The increase in the January sheep kill has been even more spectacular.

The number of sheep slaughtered during January was 235,600 head, up 58,400 head on the 2012 total for the month.

There was a 10,700 lift in the pig kill for January compared to the same month last year.

The number of pigs slaughtered during January rose from 253,200 last year to 263,900 this year.

Irish Independent

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