IFA national sheep chairman Sean Dennehy said there is growing frustration among sheep farmers with the overzealous way some meat factories and Department of Agriculture officials are attempting to implement the Clean Sheep Policy.
“In some meat plants, sheep have been sent home, factories have imposed very unfair charges and others have threatened farmers. This over-the-top approach is damaging the Clean Sheep Policy among farmers,” the chairman said. Sean added that some plants are losing lambs on the back of such action.
The IFA sheep farmer leader said factories and the Department must take into account the continuous wet weather over recent weeks in the implementation of the Clean Sheep Policy at the slaughter plants, and adopt a more practical and sensible approach.
He continued by saying that, despite working in very difficult weather conditions at this time of year, sheep farmers will strive to have their sheep as clean as possible but neither the factories nor the Department can expect the impossible. He said it is totally wrong that some factories have threatened farmers and moved to ramp up charges on clipping, with some imposing 80c per head for dagging. He said IFA is opposed to clipping charges.
In addition, he said some meat plants have imposed unfair, across-the-board charges of 30c per sheep regardless of whether the sheep are clean or dirty. He said this is totally unfair and wrong and any costs associated with the policy should be incorporated into normal running costs of the factory.