by James O’Donovan
Gathering the figures from a range of sources we have estimated the number of land animals killed in Ireland each year – primarily from agriculture, animal experimentation and fur farming. We understand that we are excluding many other animals killed in hunting, poisoning, trapping, etc. We will present the number of marine animals killed each year in the next issue of Vegan Sustainability. The number is dominated by chickens slaughtered each year. Below are the most recent sources we were able to find.
For male chicks – there are approx. two million egg laying chickens in Ireland. They live for two years so you need one million new females each year, which also produces one million male chicks a year that are killed.
The Department of Agriculture 2016 Sheep and Goat census records just 7,874 goats being kept in Ireland but does not seem to record numbers killed. I have assumed 2,700 goats are killed annually.
According to Board Bia the following numbers of animals were raised in Ireland and exported for slaughter in 2017: 179,000 cattle and 35,349 sheep – a total of 241,349 to give a total for farm animals of 8,881,349.
Badgers Killed as Part of Unscientific Department of Agriculture TB Control Scheme
According to this report 39,000 badgers were killed in six years between 2007 and 2011 – a total of 6,500 per year.
Animals Killed on Fur Farms
There are currently 5 licensed mink farms operating in the Republic of Ireland and, between them, it is estimated that 200,000 to 225,000 mink are farmed – an average of 212,500.
Animals Killed in Scientific Experiments
Nearly 122,000 animals were used in tests at six of the country’s top universities over a three-year period (so 40,666 a year) according to an article in the Irish Examiner. The universities said they had received no complaints about the volume of tests and research and all stressed no cosmetic testing was carried out on animals, which is banned under EU law.
Dogs Killed in Local Authority Pounds and Greyhound Racing
This gives a total of other species of 6,500 + 212,500 + 40,666 + 1,055 = 260,721
To give an overall total of 92,465,000 + 8,881,349 + 260,721 = 101,607,070
Which leaves us with the frightening fact that over 101 million land animals are unnecessarily killed in Ireland each year.
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