A total of 593 cattle have been reported stolen or missing to the Department of Agriculture this year as of the end of June, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.

Some 577 cattle have been reported missing while 16 have been reported stolen. The Department could also confirm that none of the cattle reported stolen in those six months have been recovered. Of the 577 reported missing, 12 have been recovered.

Cattle between the ages of 12 and 24 months were highest on the missing or stolen list, according to data from the Department of Agriculture.

Cattle in this age category accounted for 252 of those that were reported stolen or missing.

County breakdown

A total of 129 cattle have been reported missing or stolen to-date in Limerick this year, the highest number of any county.

Limerick also had the largest number of stolen and missing cattle in 2021.

Meath was another hotspot, with 86 cattle reported missing or stolen over the last six months.

Laois had a total of 48 animals reported missing or stolen, while Louth and Galway had 40 and 39 respectively.

The counties least targeted were Kilkenny, Longford, Mayo, Westmeath, Sligo and Monaghan which all had fewer than five head of cattle recorded by the Department as missing. No cattle were reported stolen or missing in Leitrim, Offaly, Carlow or Dublin.

In 2021, the figure for the number of cattle reported stolen and missing was just over 1,000 for the year.