MORE TRANSPARENCY NEEDED ON IMPORTS OF LIVE SHEEP

1 NOVEMBER 2019

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has demanded information on the numbers of live sheep imports be publicised on a weekly basis. “Processors are bringing in huge volumes of imported lambs and this information needs to be in the public domain. We must have full transparency in this area if we are to have any hope of sheep farmers getting a fair return for their produce.”

Continuing Mr McNamara said, “ICSA understands that 456,452 sheep were imported from Northern Ireland and Scotland in 2018. Yet we have been met with nothing but vagueness and excuses from meat processors on this issue. Sheep from across the border have always been brought down here but the larger numbers are getting out of hand. Factories need to come clean on when and why and from where they are bringing in such large volumes for foreign lambs. We don’t have a level playing field and Irish sheep farmers are constantly losing out and are unable to make a decent return.”

“It’s clear to ICSA that factories are using these imports to keep a lid on prices. Furthermore, we have no information whether these imported sheep are subject to the same strict rules as local farmers regarding Clean Livestock Policy or indeed what happens to them post slaughter. This again brings up labelling issues and puts at risk the whole idea of traceability, origin green and quality assurance. ”

ENDS