Almost one in two prime cattle processed at local abattoirs during 2023 originated from dairy herds, slaughter data published by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) shows.

Of the 220,448 price reported cattle processed in 2023, a total of 56% or 123,451 animals originated from suckler herds.

The remaining 44% or 96,997 animals were dairy bred. That figure breaks down to 33%, or 72,745 animals, being dairy cattle sired by beef bulls, with 11% being pure dairy breeding.

The percentage of dairy beef in the prime kill has been relatively static over the past three years.


Slaughter data reported cows shows 67% of animals processed in 2023 were dairy animals, with just one in three animals being suckler cows.

Five years ago, suckler cows accounted for 38% of slaughter throughput.


In Britain, 52% of the 2.28m animals processed last year were born to a dairy dam.

Across prime cattle, 57% still originate from suckler herds, however, over the last five years dairy beef has steadily increased, from 28% of the prime kill in 2019 to 43% in 2023. Angus is the most popular beef sire choice, accounting for 20% of dairy calf registrations in 2023, followed by Hereford, then British Blue sires.