Tuesday, June 25, 2024

101 Million Animals are Killed in Ireland Every Year

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.

Department of Agriculture Data – Chickens: 91,658,000

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.

794,000 turkeys and 11-15,000 geese are killed in Ireland in Ireland annually.  This gives a total for poultry of 92,465,000.

Central Statistics Office Ireland Data November 2017 – October 2018

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.

Live Exports

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. 

Other Species

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

916 dogs were put to sleep in Irish local authority pounds in 2016 and 139 Greyhounds were put down from race injuries in 2016 to give a total of 1,055.

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.


Latest Articles


Related Articles

Rewilding our Understanding of Animal Rights

Rewilding will be a term familiar to most of you, not least since controversial...

Rethinking Food and Agriculture

The book highlights the urgent need to ‘rethink’ the food and agriculture system and...

WWF Living Planet Report sends an SOS for Nature as Scientists warn Wildlife is in Freefall

Nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before, and this catastrophic decline is...

Reducing Ireland’s Beef Herd

In this article we look at why a reduction in the Irish beef herd...