COVID-19 pandemic: This release was compiled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Users should be aware that the quality of the underlying data has been impacted by the crisis and therefore may not be directly comparable with previous periods data. For details regarding how this data has been affected See here.
The CSO understands the severe difficulties now being faced by survey respondents and that filling in the survey forms may not be top of their list at present, however it is by collecting survey information that we will be able to report on the effects of COVID-19 on our economy and society.
Insofar as possible, we are continuing to collect survey information from businesses so that we can provide statistics that show the changing situation from March 2020 onwards. We appreciate the ongoing support of the business community and understand the difficulties faced by all.
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The impact of COVID-19 is evident in the decline in cattle, sheep and pig slaughterings, which fell by 20.0%, 15.7% and 11.4% respectively between May 2019 and May 2020. See Table 1 and graph.
An analysis of the data for January-May 2020 with the corresponding period of 2019 shows the following:
|Table 1 Livestock Slaughterings|
|2020||165.4||163.7 ²||173.6 ²||123.9 ²||126.1||752.7|
|2020||253.4||205.2 ²||240.3 ²||219.9 ²||229.6||1,148.5|
|2020||28.3||24.3||27.3 ²||26.2 ²||23.7||129.9|
|1 Carcass weight|
|Totals may not equal the sum of the categories due to rounding differences.|
This release gives the number and carcass weight of cattle, sheep and pig slaughterings in the Republic of Ireland. The figures include slaughterings at both meat establishments approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and slaughterhouses and meat plants approved by Local Authorities under S.I. 432 of 2009. The collection of monthly slaughtering data for cattle, sheep, and pigs is governed by Regulation (EC) No. 1165/2008.
Data on the number of slaughterings in meat establishments approved by DAFM for cattle, sheep, and pigs are obtained monthly from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Average carcass weights of cattle are taken from the Department’s Beef Carcass Classification Scheme. Average carcass weights of pigs are based on information obtained directly from DAFM approved plants by the CSO. Average carcass weights of sheep are based on average weights data provided by DAFM.
The CSO conducts a monthly survey of all Local Authorities in the State. All slaughterings in slaughterhouses and meat plants approved by Local Authorities under S.I. 432 of 2009 are included.
The carcass weight of cattle, sheep, and pigs slaughtered in premises under Local Authority control corresponds with those applied to DAFM approved plants.
Calf slaughterings are included with cattle.
For cattle, the carcass weight is defined as the weight of the slaughtered animal’s cold body after being skinned, bled and eviscerated and after removal of external genitalia, the limb at the carpus and tarsus, head, tail, kidneys and kidney fats and the udder.
For sheep, the carcass weight is defined as the weight of the slaughtered animal’s cold body after being skinned, bled and eviscerated and after removal of the head, feet, tail and genital organs including the udder. Kidneys and kidney fats are included in the carcass.
For pigs, the carcass weight is defined as the weight of the slaughtered animal’s cold body either whole or divided in half along the mid-line, after being bled and eviscerated and after the removal of the tongue, bristles, hooves, genitalia, flare fat, kidneys and diaphragm.
Easter falls each year on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th, inclusively. The level of sheep slaughterings in March and April each year is greatly influenced by when Easter falls.
Dates for Easter Sunday:
2020 - 12th April
2019 - 21st April
2018 - 1st April
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