The top five cattle producers in Ireland are all located in the north of the country, according to the annual Global Livestock Index.
The report has been compiled by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), which tracks cattle numbers across the country.
The top five were all found in Dublin.
There were just two Irish producers in the top ten with the most cows, at four, with the fourth-placed company, Wicklow-based Wicklow Farm in Clare, being the highest producer.
The next five were in Kildare, Co Kildarra, Kerry, Roscommon and Co Kinsale, with three each in Co Donegal, Galway and Galway Bay.
The Irish Farm Animal Welfare Association (IFWA) placed Wicklow in the bottom five of the report, at number six, due to its high level of animal cruelty and its high levels of absenteeism.
“The Irish farmers are in a very precarious situation,” said IFWA spokeswoman Karen Doyle.
“Their cattle are being killed at record rates.
In Wicklow and Kerry, we have had more cases of livestock cruelty than anywhere else in Ireland.”
The report also highlighted the high levels and absenteeism of farmers in Kerry.
The highest number of absenteeists were in the Dublin area, followed by Wicklow.
The IFWA said this was in part due to the high cost of living in Dublin and other rural areas.
The average number of animals being killed annually in Wicklow, Kerry and Galaward is 4,900, compared with an average of 1,800 in Dublin, 1,500 in Clare and 1,400 in Galway.
It said the top producer was also found to be the highest absenteeist.
This was largely due to high levels in Dublin where there were 10,000 animal deaths in 2016.
In Dublin, there were only three farms with more cows than the Irish population.
There were three farms that produced more than 10,500 cows.
There are also more absenteeists in Wickliffe, with two farmers with more than 3,000.
In Kildaren, there are seven farmers who produce more than 5,000 animals annually.
In Galway, there is one farmer who produces more than 4,000 cattle.
In Roscommon, there was one farmer with over 2,000 cows.
In Kerry, there has been one farmer producing more than 2,500 cattle.
The IFA also highlighted that the farmers with the highest number in Dublin were all in the Wicklow region, which is not far from Wicklow farm.
This is partly because of a number of factors including the high rate of absenteeities and low prices for beef and pork.
The highest absenteeism was in Cork, which has more than 8,000 absenteeists.
The same was true for Galway with six farms that have more than 7,000 per year.
In the Dublin region, there also was a high level in Kinslea, which had the highest amount of absenteees.
The area with the lowest absenteeism in Dublin was Kildanor, which produced just 2,300 animals annually, the highest figure for the country in 2016 and second lowest for Ireland.
The number of cows per hectare is also high in Dublin with 1,890.
The total number of livestock in the area is around 1.8 million, which includes 2,400 calves, 1.1 million sheep and 4.4 million cattle.
Irish Farmers Association director for rural and rural-based industry, Cathal O’Mahony, said it was important to keep cattle numbers high.
“We have seen that we need more and more cattle on our farms, we need to continue to improve the welfare of our animals, we want to see a steady growth of beef and milk cattle on farms,” he said.
“It’s important to look at all of these factors in the context of cattle welfare and sustainability and not just the number of cattle.”
Cattle production is a vital part of the economy and we need it to be sustainable.