According to the USDA's latest Livestock Slaughter report, commercial meat production for the United States totaled 4.00 billion pounds in December, down 5 percent from the 4.22 billion pounds produced in December 2011.

Pork production totaled 1.95 billion pounds, down 5 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.47 million head, down 5 percent from December 2011. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 276 pounds.

Beef production, at 2.02 billion pounds, was 5 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.54 million head, down 8 percent from December 2011. The average live weight was up 26 pounds from the previous year, at 1,323 pounds.

Veal production totaled 9.8 million pounds, 9 percent below December a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 65,400 head, down 10 percent from December 2011. The average live weight was up 1 pound from last year, at 254 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 12.8 million pounds, was up 3 percent from December 2011. Sheep slaughter totaled 189,700 head, 5 percent above last year. The average live weight was 135 pounds, down 4 pounds from December a year ago.

January to December 2012 commercial meat production was 49.4 billion pounds, up slightly from 2011. Accumulated beef production was down 1 percent from last year,