MII: 9 sites not operating amid ‘ongoing protests, intimidation and blockades’

Meat processors have “endeavoured to maintain business continuity in the face of ongoing protests, intimidation and blockades of factory operations across the country by Beef Plan”, according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

In a statement this evening, Tuesday, August 6, the Ibec group representing the meat industry said:

“There has already been costly disruption to the normal processing of livestock – both cattle and sheep – being presented for slaughter by suppliers.

As of today, we understand that there are up to nine sites not operating as livestock coming in have been blocked by Beef Plan protesters, something which contravenes their own guidelines.

“Many other plants are only operating at minimal levels,” the MII statement added.

“The right of suppliers to organise a peaceful protest is accepted. However, the unlawful behaviour of some protesters at certain sites continues to go well beyond the guidelines issued by Beef Plan itself and is resulting in unacceptable abuse and intimidation of fellow farmer suppliers, company employees, government-assigned veterinarians and other service providers including hauliers.

“Some of these protests have been joined by non-farming elements that have added a sinister undertone,” the statement claimed.

“It is contemptible that Beef Plan has now, in the face of widespread evidence of unlawful blockading and intimidation, sought to blame factories for hostile actions that are clearly being perpetrated by Beef Plan protesters.

It is clear from recent social media postings by Beef Plan that they have no control over the disruptive protests which they have initiated, and which have now escalated into outrageous behaviour at many sites.

“Beef Plan leadership should now abandon their illegal blockades at factories,” the meat industry representative group statement concluded.