Some 30% of the 1.78m bovines slaughtered in Department of Agriculture-approved slaughter plants in 2023 were Friesian-bred.

The figures analysing cattle disposals in Department of Agriculture-approved slaughter plants are contained in the 2023 animal identification and movement (AIM) report.

Limousin-sired cattle were the next up at 303,587 head (17%), marginally ahead of Aberdeen Angus-sired animals at just over 300,000 head.

This was followed by Charolais at 241,439 head (13.6%) and 197,832 Hereford animals (11.1%), while the remaining breeds are displayed in Table 1.

Local authority

Table 1 also details cattle slaughterings in local authority-approved slaughter plants. As can be seen, Limousin is the main breed of animal slaughtered in such plants, followed by Charolais, Hereford and Angus.

Friesian-sired animals are well down the line of order, with over 25% of these aged less than six weeks of age.

Table 2 details a breakdown of cattle disposals by age and cattle born to beef and dairy sires.

The figures are in line with expectations, with almost 38% (708,366) of animals aged over 30 months of age, 34.5% (645,151) between 24 and 30 months of age and 21.6% (403,646) between 18 and 24 months.

There was also 1.8% or 33,575 calves aged less than six weeks drafted for slaughter.