The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released its Livestock Slaughterings March 2023 report, revealing a 4.9% decrease in cattle slaughterings last month compared to the same period in 2022. The data showed that 165,000 cattle were processed in meat factories in March 2023, down from 173,400 in March 2022. The first quarter of 2023 saw a 0.4% decrease in cattle slaughterings compared to the same period in 2022, with almost 475,000 cattle slaughtered.
On the other hand, sheep slaughterings increased by 6.9% between January and March 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The report indicated that 762,000 sheep were processed in the first quarter of this year, with 285,100 sheep slaughtered in March 2023, up from 252,000 recorded in March 2022.
The number of pigs processed fell by 8.1% between January and March 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. During the first three months of 2023, 849,600 pigs were slaughtered. In March 2023, factories processed 285,100 pigs, down from 324,700 during the same month last year.
Mairead Griffin, a statistician in the CSO Agriculture Accounts and Production Section, commented on the data, saying, “Cattle slaughterings decreased by 4.9% in March 2023 compared to March 2022. Over that same period, the number of sheep slaughtered grew by 13.2% while the number of pigs slaughtered contracted by 8.2%. Further analysis of the data shows that between January and March 2023, slaughterings for Sheep rose by 6.9% while Cattle and Pigs decreased by 0.4% and 8.1% respectively.”
The data reveals the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the Irish livestock industry. The decrease in cattle slaughterings may be attributed to the disruption in the supply chain due to restrictions on movement and other measures to curb the spread of the virus. However, the increase in sheep slaughterings suggests that the industry is adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Irish livestock industry is a significant contributor to the country’s economy, with beef and dairy products accounting for a significant proportion of its agricultural exports. The data from the CSO report will be closely watched by stakeholders in the industry, as they seek to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and maintain the sector’s growth.