Cattle slaughter high in Australia

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Australia cattle slaughter reached peak in May
Australia cattle slaughter reached peak in May

Related tags Livestock Meat Beef

Australian adult cattle slaughter reached its highest level for 34 years in May, according to the latest statistics.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) said that the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that 799,036 head of adult cattle were slaughtered in May, a 20% increase on May 2012 levels and the highest monthly total since March 1979.

MLA said that the increase in numbers resulted in record monthly beef production of 219,441 tonnes cwt in May.

It added that the high slaughter had been driven by “widespread dry conditions across almost every state”​, although Queensland saw the biggest increases and recorded a historically high total of 390,709 head in May, a 19% year-on-year increase.

The figures also revealed that Queensland accounted for 49% of Australia’s national slaughter in May 2013, up from 31% in March 1979.

Adult cattle slaughter for January-May is up 20% compared to the same period last year, the highest first five-month total since 2009 and the second-largest total for 15 years.

MLA stated that there has been an increased proportion of female cattle slaughter, up to 47.9% compared to 44.5% in the same period in 2012, suggesting that “the three-year period of herd expansion has come to a halt”.

At 274.6kg/head, average adult carcase weights were down to their lowest level since June 2010 and 11.3kg lighter than recorded in May 2012.

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