20 SEPTEMBER 2021
ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara is demanding answers from meat factories as to why lambs from the north are routinely processed ahead of local supplies. “Sheep farmers are very angry that imported lambs can jump the queue at factories. The knock-on effect is that local suppliers are having to endure lengthy waits for their lambs to be dealt with, despite arriving at the facility first. The lack of respect shown to local suppliers is hard to stomach,” he said.
“Over the course of a twelve hour wait lambs are routinely losing around a kilo in weight – which is one less kilo that the farmer is going to get paid for. Given the huge numbers of live lambs imported every week the practice has now become widespread and is causing serious frustration amongst local farmers. It’s galling to see lambs losing thrive as they are made to wait while their imported counterparts are seen to first.”
“It’s hard enough to make any sort of a margin as a sheep farmer, and it’s becoming even harder with this sort of carry on.”