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UK: Record low cattle kill in January

15 February 2022


Slaughter numbers were up 2% from December, but 10% down from one year ago

According to a report by the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), January marked the lowest prime cattle kill on record. Citing Defra UK production figures, Livestock Analyst Hannah Clarke said 152,700 prime cattle were processed during the first month of 2022. This was 2% more than December, but 10% down on January 2021, and marks the lowest January prime cattle kill on record.

Clarke said compared to a year ago, prime cattle supplies remain on the tight side, adding that industry reports suggest COVID-19 has caused staff shortages in some abattoirs. Cattle population figures suggest that supplies could remain tighter for a little while yet before increasing in the second half of 2022, she said.

During the same month, 54,300 cows were processed, 4% fewer than December and 2% fewer than the same month a year ago.

In total 71,500 tonnes of beef was produced in January. This was 3% more than December, but 8% lower than the same month a year ago.


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