Factory price cuts this week of up to 30c/kg for lamb have been labelled a “disgrace” by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara slammed the price cuts, raising questions over the future supply of Irish lamb, warning that farmers won’t put ewes in lamb if conditions continue.

“Processors are once again sticking the boot in. Beef prices have fallen through the floor and now they’re doing the same with lambs.

Base quotes are running at around €4.50/kg which is totally unacceptable. How can they expect farmers to stay going?

“If this continues farmers just won’t be putting their ewes in lamb,” he said.

Continuing, the sheep chairman added: “Adding to the problem, we still have big quantities of lambs coming down from the north.

“While we accept that a certain amount of imported lamb is required to meet export demands, the numbers coming in now are only serving to undercut the prices paid to Irish farmers.

“It’s a cynical tactic and a shameful way to treat a sector that operates on such slim margins,” McNamara concluded.

6 marts approved to read EID tags

In other sheep news, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has approved six marts to read electronic sheep tags.

All sheep farmers, since June 1, 2019, have been required to tag all sheep and lambs with electronic identification (EID) tags.

The six marts that have been approved – to read EID tags as a Central Point of Recording (CPR) – include: Carnaross Mart; Clare Co-Operative Mart; Newross Mart; and Cork Co-Operative Marts in Fermoy, Macroom and Cahir.