3rd July, 2012
Irish Cattle and sheep Farmers’ Association sheep chairman Paul Brady has called for a crackdown on sheep smuggling from Northern Ireland, which he says is a problem in border areas.
Not alone does the influx of sheep from the north add to the kill here and depress the price for genuine farmers in the Republic, it also costs the exchequer significant sums in flat rate VAT refunds each year.
“A lamb bought in Northern Ireland, smuggled into the Republic, is worth the additional VAT in the south. At present lamb prices, this amounts to about €5 per lamb,” said Mr Brady.
He suggests that close co-operation between the Gardai, the Department of Agriculture and the Revenue Commissioners could help stamp out the problem.
“For example, the supply of sheep tags should be more carefully monitored.”
“We definitely don’t want to create more bureaucracy, but where the practice of smuggling results in a lower price for our farmers, then it is time for us to act,” concluded Mr Brady.