LMC notes trends in current cattle slaughter data

Young bulls

Last year, the average age of bullocks, young bulls and heifers slaughtered in Northern Ireland was 25.7, 25.7 and 16.4 months. Ian Stevenson, from the Livestock and Meat Commission’s, has come out saying that there is “very clear” evidence that illustrates that beef farmers in Northern Ireland recognise the need to slaughter cattle at an earlier age.

The equivalent figures for 2019 were 26.2, 26.0 and 16.3 months.

Another trend noted in the current slaughter data is the increasing proportion of young bulls within NI’s overall kill. According to the LMC, during December 2021, a total of 2,914 young bulls were slaughtered in NI. The equivalent figure for December 2020 was 2,482, representing a year-on-year increase of 17%.

Stevenson said that figures for the year confirm that Northern Ireland’s young bull throughput was up by 6% in 2021 compared to the previous 12 months. “The average age at slaughter for young bulls here now stands at 16.4 months. I believe there is scope to bring this figure down further during the period ahead.”

Slaughter-related statistics also confirm the increased number of Aberdeen-Angus-sired stock within Northern Ireland’s total beef throughput.

During the last quarter of 2021, Angus cattle made up 23% of the prime kill. For the same period in 2019, the figure was 20%.

Numbers of Hereford-bred cattle coming through the system have remained at a “steady” 7 to 8% throughout this period. “The Hereford share of our prime kill is not insignificant. And this is further evidence of the growing demand for beef from traditional breeds,” he said.

LSL News.