British Columbia·Poll

Beef costs have been steadily climbing in past 3 years

The latest Statistics Canada figures show the retail cost of regular ground beef has risen 41 per cent in the last three years.

Statistics Canada data shows cost of regular ground beef has risen 41% in past 3 years

The latest Statistics Canada figures show the retail cost of regular ground beef has risen 41 per cent in the last three years. (CBC)

If you're a meat lover, chances are you have noticed your bill for that steak has been beefing up. 

The latest Statistics Canada figures show the retail cost of regular ground beef has risen 41 per cent in the last three years. 

On average, a pound of ground beef that came at a sticker price of $4.03 in April 2012, cost $5.71 by April 2015. 

In B.C., some butchers and stores are blaming the higher costs on a smaller supply of cattle and increased feed costs. 

The North American cattle herd is estimated to be at its lowest level in the past 50 years, and that smaller supply is driving up prices for consumers.

Save-On Meats butcher Colin Fleming says he's noticed the rise on the costs especially in the past six months. 

"The droughts in the last three years has really brought up the price of feed which is causing a lot of farmers to cut back on their cattle supply," he says.

"Definitely people who are used to be eating beef, say, every week might change to every couple of weeks."         

Chris Jackson of Jackson's Meat says he's noticed his customers are looking for alternatives. 

"It's most noticeable on like things like lean ground beef or extra lean because they're like the commodity cuts and they're expensive too now," he says. Instead, "People are buying chicken. They're buying pork, lamb." 

Kevin Grier, an Ontario-based independent analyst, says beef prices are likely going to remain high. 

"It will probably take until 2017 or more before we see supplies increase and we get a break on pricing," he says. "It's a new reality we are facing."

Take our poll on how the rising cost of beef has affected your eating habits. 

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