Over 85,000 sheep from Northern Ireland (NI) have been slaughtered in approved Republic of Ireland (ROI) export premises in 2024.

This is according to data provided to Agriland by the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) for the first 11 weeks of the year.

Up to the same period in 2024, according to the sheep kill figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), 564,762 sheep have been processed.

Therefore, with 85,063 sheep from NI slaughtered in approved ROI export premises in 2024, and 564,762 sheep in total having been processed in the ROI during the same period, it can be seen that a total of 15% of the sheep slaughtered have come from NI to-date in 2024.

Week ending Hoggets Ewes and rams Total Cumulative
January 6 7,378 374 7,752 7,752
January 13 9,040 544 9,584 17,336
January 20 6,743 496 7,239 24,575
January 27 5,919 263 6,182 30,757
February 3 7,727 421 8,148 38,905
February 10 5,954 556 6,510 45,415
February 17 6,931 439 7,370 52,785
February 24 6,272 633 6,905 59,690
March 2 7,963 513 8,476 68,166
March 9 8,502 441 8,943 77,109
March 16 7,450 504 7,954 85,063
NI sheep slaughtered at approved ROI export premises in 2024 Source: LMC

So far this year, supplies from NI have not been as high since they were during week 2, ending January 13, when a total of 9,584 sheep were processed.

Weekly supplies of sheep from NI to the ROI were at their lowest during the week ending January 27, when a total of 6,182 sheep were processed.

NI sheep slaughtered in the ROI

In 2023, a total of 318,461 sheep were exported from NI to the ROI for slaughter.

Of this figure, lambs categorised as over 13kgs made up 290,688 of the total killed (91.3%), with the remaining 8.7% processed being ewes and rams, which saw a total of 27,773 sheep killed.

The highest weekly throughput of NI sheep in the ROI came during the week ending Sunday, November 19, when 9,986 sheep were killed.

The lowest number of sheep from NI slaughtered in the ROI came during the week ending in June 11, when just 2,135 sheep were processed.

Figures were also provided from the LMC for the number of NI sheep slaughtered at approved ROI export premises in 2022.

In that year, a total of 317,966 sheep from NI were slaughtered in the ROI, of which 287,303 (90.4%) were lambs over 13kgs, with the rest made up of 30,663 ewes and rams (9.6%).

The week ending July 10 was the only week that saw the supply of sheep from NI to the ROI cross the 10,000 mark, when 10,012 sheep were killed, the highest number of that year.

Of that figure, 9,400 were lambs and the remaining 612 were ewes and rams.

Just the week after was the week with the fewest sheep slaughtered in 2022, as only 2,755 sheep from NI were killed at approved ROI export premises.

For that week (ending July 17), 2,265 were lambs, while 490 were ewes and rams.