Dairy beef now makes up the largest proportion of the Irish cattle kill.

The latest figures show that 57% of all animals slaughtered in 2020 were of dairy origin, while just 43% were of suckler cow origin.

Figure 1 outlines the breakdown of the Irish cattle kill over the last 10 years.

In 2010, 53% of the Irish cattle kill was suckler-bred, with just 47% coming from the dairy herd. In the decade since, slaughtered suckler progeny have dropped by 10% and slaughtered dairy-bred stock have increased by 10%.

The latest figures for year to date in 2021 show that 62% of cattle processed have been dairy-origin animals, with just 38% of suckler beef origin.

The figures come as the national suckler herd continues to decline and dairy cow numbers grow. Galway remains the county with the highest number of suckler cows, followed by Mayo and Clare. Cork remains the county with the largest population of dairy cows, followed by Tipperary and Limerick.