13 FEBRUARY 2018
ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has said it is time for Teagasc to advise on different systems of fattening lambs and prepping them for slaughter if the way sheep farmers have been doing it for decades is suddenly no longer acceptable under the Clean Livestock Policy for sheep (CLP).
Following a live demonstration of CLP in practice at Kepak Athleague last night, Mr Brooks said, “Distinguishing Category A sheep is straightforward enough, however confusion arises as sheep in Categories B and C are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Moreover, a Category B sheep on a dry day would be deemed Category C on a wet day.”
“We know Teagasc Research have been fattening lambs and finishing them out using variety of systems. ICSA would like to know if Teagasc have done any CLP scoring on the different systems given that this policy has been on the cards for a number of years now. If they have I would urge them to publicise those findings. At this point farmers need advice on possibly changing elements of their systems and their preparations for slaughter, rather than have all these lambs deemed unsuitable at the point of slaughter.”
“The policy has resulted in lambs either being shorn on-site or being removed from plants for shearing at nearby facilities before returning to factory lairages where they are left shivering until they can be processed. This is unacceptable from an animal welfare perspective and indeed may well impact the kill out weight as well as the meat quality. In any event, all financial repercussions of this unworkable policy are then being passed on to the producer.”
“In addition, our understanding is that internal lists of sheep farmers whose stock has been turned away are being compiled. ICSA would have questions as to what are the implications for anyone appearing on that list or how that information will be shared.”