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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Table: How many cattle were traded through livestock marts in Ireland in 2019?

1,669,138 movements were recorded in livestock marts in Ireland in 2019, according to the AIM Bovine Statistics Report 2019.

This figure, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, stated, includes 124,796 unsold movements.

In the 2019 report, the department provided a profile of mart movements by month, age, category, and gender.

Mart movements

According to the data, April recorded the highest number of movements at 249,337, followed by March at 230,028 and October at 225,518.

January was the quietest month, with 57,458 movements, followed by December at 65,613 and July at 72,705.

Month Male Female Total
January 26,106 31,352 57,458
February 79,520 65,677 145,197
March 133,266 96,762 230,028
April 134,002 115,335 249,337
May 81,089 81,307 162,396
June 43,792 44,481 88,273
July 37,915 34,790 72,705
August 46,911 38,454 85,365
September 74,931 52,974 127,905
October 127,297 98,221 225,518
November 82,109 77,234 159,343
December 30,763 34,850 65,613
Total 897,701 771,437 1,669,138
Mart movements by breed:
  • Limousin – 379,755;
  • Charolais – 320,711;
  • Friesian – 291,290;
  • Aberdeen Angus – 282,854;
  • Hereford – 219,742;
  • Simmental – 60,121;
  • Belgian Blue;
  • Shorthorn – 16,020;
  • Other – 56,623.

Furthermore, 1,301,334 farm-to-farm movements were recorded, 621,014 for males and 680,320 for females.

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March was the busiest month at 310,038, followed by April at 224,582 and May at 150,748. August was the month with the fewest farm-to-farm movements, at 48,172, followed by July at 55,025.

Under 3 million movements

Mart and farm-to-farm movements combined to give a total of 2,970,472. Overall, April recorded the highest number of movements at 459,375, followed by March at 454,610.

According to the DAFM, July recorded the fewest movements, at 127,730, followed by January at 128,782 and August at 133,537.


The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine maintains cattle traceability records on a central  database known as the Animal Identification and Movement System (AIM).

The AIM system records all  births,  movements  and  disposals  in  accordance  with  EU  requirements  and  therefore  traces  all  bovines  from  birth  to  slaughter.

The  traceability  system  “provides  assurances  to  customers  and  consumers at home and abroad about the origin and traceability of beef, protects animal and human  health and secures and maintains markets for Irish cattle and beef”.

The AIM Bovine Statistics Report 2019 provides comprehensive data on calf births, farm‐to farm and  mart movements as well as details of cattle slaughtered in Department approved and Local Authority  approved  slaughter  plants,  live exports and  on‐farm  bovine  deaths.

The  report  is  compiled  on an  annual  basis  from  data  provided  by  farmers,  livestock  marts,  Department -approved  and  Local authority approved slaughter plants and export locations to the AIM database.  The  Report  contains valuable  statistical information  for  use  by interested  stakeholders  to monitor  trends in the beef and dairy sectors.

Data and reports generated from the AIM system are provided  by  the  Department  to  organisations  including  Bord  Bia,  Central  Statistics  Office  (CSO),  Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA), Irish Cattle Breeding Federation  (ICBF), Teagasc as well as  breed societies, farm groups and Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

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