Sheep Slaughter: Over 700,000 Heads Processed and Counting!

"Sheep Slaughter Figures Reach Over 700,000 Head This Year, Latest DAFM Report Shows"

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has released the latest figures on sheep slaughter in Ireland. According to the report, the total number of sheep slaughtered this year has exceeded 700,000 head. For the week ending April 2, 64,495 sheep were processed, which is a drop of almost 2,600 head from the previous week’s kill.

The report further reveals that the hogget price has increased significantly in the past few weeks, leading to an increase in processing. Last week, 58,586 hoggets were processed, which is 3,500 head less than the previous week but over 4,900 head above the same week last year. Meanwhile, 4,161 ewes and rams were slaughtered last week, which is down 216 head from the previous week. The total sheep kill for the week ending April 2 was 64,495 head, comprising 58,586 hoggets/lambs, 1,743 spring lambs, and 4,161 ewes and rams.

Looking at the overall throughput figures for this year, 702,640 sheep have been processed so far. Of that figure, 628,765 have been hoggets/lambs, while the rest comprises ewes and rams (71,273), spring lambs (2,553), and a small number of light lambs (49 head). The graph provided by DAFM shows the weekly sheep kill in the first 13 weeks of this year compared to the same period in 2022.

As the graph indicates, there was an increase in supply in week 11 of this year, despite the four-day week due to St. Patrick’s Day. In contrast, supply dropped significantly in week 11 of last year. The supply continued to increase for week 12 and only dipped slightly in week 13 of this year. The increase in sheep trade prices has likely driven out additional numbers.

Comparing the figures to date this year against the same period in 2022, the report shows that the total number slaughtered is up by 5% or 34,877 head. The number of hoggets processed has increased by 29,633, while ewe and ram throughput is up on last year’s levels by more than 5,000 head. The year-on-year sheep kill changes for the week ending March 12 were 628,765 hoggets/lambs (+29,633 or +5%), 67,112 ewes and rams (+5,032 or +8%), and a total of 702,640 head (+34,877 or +5%).

These figures indicate a positive trend in the sheep industry in Ireland. The increase in prices and processing numbers is good news for sheep farmers, who have been struggling for the past few years. However, it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue in the coming weeks and months. The sheep industry, like any other, is subject to various factors, including weather, disease, and market demand. Nonetheless, the current figures are a cause for optimism in the Irish sheep sector.

Categories: Agriculture