Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Agriculture Eamon O Cuiv hit out at sheep processors tight specification for lamb carcass weights in the Dail this week and called on the Minster of Agriculture to act on the issue.

“I am told if you send in a lamb to a factory and the lamb killed out at 25kg. They (processors) are only paying you for 21.5kg.

“I do not believe that the factories are throwing 3.5kg of meat in the skip.

“My view is if your lamb kills out at 25kg they should pay you for 25kg,” he said.

According to O Cuiv, the measure seems like another way for the ‘factories’ in a monopoly situation to depress the price artificially. See also:Why Kepak is not paying out on heavy lambs (See optimum spec)

The Galwayman made the comments during a debate on the market situation where he outlined what he described as a ‘massive decline’ in lamb prices in recent weeks.

He called on the Minister to ensure that there is constant live exports to provide competition in the market.

Otherwise, he said you have a bottleneck situation where a very small number of processors control the market.

Department continues to facilitate live sheep exports

The Department of Agriculture continues to facilitate live sheep exports, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has said in response to questioning on the issue this week.

He said his Department continues to play its part in facilitating live exports of sheep while ensuring that all the necessary veterinary conditions set by the EU are satisfied.

According to the Minister, Ireland has a ‘healthy’ live export trade that operates to a high standard and a significant infrastructural capacity of exports points, vehicles and vessels available, allied to a significant number of experienced live exporters, to facilitate the live export trade.