It is critical that farmers deliver livestock as clean as possible for slaughter and this policy needs to be properly enforced across processing plants, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

According to MII, this is a critical area that needs to be highlighted as failing to deliver clean livestock to slaughter plants could have a negative impact on the entire production and processing sector.

It says that its members are concerned with the hide condition of some livestock presented to slaughter plants as this causes a major challenge to the hygienic dressing of carcasses.

There are food safety risks associated with cross-contamination from dirty hides during the carcass dressing process, it says.

According to MII, if an E. coli incident arises and results in a major recall, or worse still, a public health incident, this will impact negatively on the full sector.

Furthermore, it added that this is a challenge that both farmers representatives and MII need to address together.

Livestock Trade – Little change in Prime Cattle Prices

Meanwhile, there has been little change in the quotes being offered for prime beef with the majority of procurement managers still quoting 390c/kg for base steers.

Furthermore, the trade for heifers has remained relatively stable with most processors securing heifers at 400c/kg base price.

However, the prices paid for cull cows has taken a further fall in some plants. There is a large amount of variation in the prices available with plants offering 300-330c/kg for R grade cull cows.

Prices quoted for O grade culls cows were mostly between a range of 290-320c/kg while the poorer quality P types are currently being quoted at 280-300/kg.