Farmer frustration as sheep slaughter delays mount

Sheep farmers right around the country are struggling to have their lambs slaughtered with factories fully booked up, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Commenting on the situation, ICSA Sheep chairman John Brooks has said: “We are seeing big throughput numbers of sheep; however, questions about the origin of these sheep are arising.”

Continuing, Brooks said: “The ICSA has been getting reports of extra quantities of lamb coming down from the North of Ireland for slaughter in the south.

Sheep from across the border have always been brought down here – but the larger numbers are getting out of hand.

“They are having too much of a knock-on effect with farmers in the south having difficulty getting their own slaughtered,” the sheep chairman continued.

Brooks said that, as far as his organisation can see, this is “just another ploy to keep prices down at a time when farmers are suffering due to drought costs”.

Labelling issues

“This again brings up labelling issues and puts at risk the whole idea of traceability, Origin Green and quality assurance.

It also shows a complete lack of respect for both the producer and the consumer.

“Our cattle don’t enjoy the same welcome in the North – certainly not under the same terms and conditions,” the sheep chairman added.