The latest data published by the Department of Agriculture regarding cows slaughtered in Department and Local Authority approved processing facilities shows a breakdown of 66.3% dairy cows and 33.7% beef cows.
This is nearly identical to the 2022 breakdown where 66.6% of the cows slaughtered in January and February were dairy cows and 33.4% suckler cows.
The number of cows slaughtered in 2023, at 69,350 head, is running 5,690 head, or 9% higher than in 2022. The dairy cow kill figure has not changed drastically in recent years despite the sharp increase in the number of dairy cows on farms.
The latest Animal Identification and Movement data shows the number of dairy cows on farms on 1 February 2023 at 1,529,592.
This compares to 1.37m cows on 1 February 2018 and 1.1m head on 1 February 2018.
The number of suckler cows on Irish farms on 1 February 2023 stood at 833,939.
Numbers have fallen from 983,608 head on 1 February 2018 and 1.05m head in 2014.