The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) national sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy, has said the clean sheep policy is causing severe difficulties at some meat plants.
Mr Dennehy said it is clear that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is implementing the policy in an overzealous fashion at some factories and this is causing major problems for farmers and for factories.
He said a much more practical and sensible approach is needed by the Department on the policy, taking account of the difficult weather conditions at this time of year. He said the IFA has set up a meeting with senior Department vets on the issue and will be strongly making the case that a more realistic approach must be adopted.
Mr Dennehy said farmers will do their best to have lambs as clean as possible but the Department and the factories must take account of the current weather conditions. He said that imposing unreasonable requirements and costs like shearing on farmers and factories is not the solution.
Mr Dennehy said the lamb market is stronger this week, with prices up to €5.20/kg and some top prices of €5.25/kg. He said supplies are much tighter and demand is solid.