Hundreds of farmers have protested outside the Slaney meat factory near Bunclody in Co Wexford to demand action from the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to prevent the sale of a 50% stake in the meat factory.
IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said that the sale to Larry Goodman's ABP meat processors would make Mr Goodman even more dominant in the meat sector.
Mr Burns said "farmers cannot understand why Mr Coveney is saying he can do nothing, on critically important competition issue".
The sale of the Allen family's 50% stake to ABP would give Mr Goodman effective control of 30% of the national beef kill, 40% of the lamb kill, and 50% of the six meat rendering plants in the country.
Mr Burns said that farmers are demanding a better price for their cattle and fairer competition, but insisted that this is being denied to them.
He said that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has told the IFA that there is nothing stopping Mr Coveney from making a submission to them on the proposed merger and in support of effective competition in the livestock sector.
The IFA is now calling on the minister and the Government to make that submission to help farmers save their livelihoods.
There is also calls for Mr Coveney to look at the lack of competition in the beef sector, which sees an unacceptable price gap between Irish and British cattle prices.
Figures show the average Irish/UK price gap for beef widened to 82c/kg or €293 per head in 2015.