Chairperson of the South Mayo Lamb Producers group, Kevin Feeney said that although there hasn’t been a lot of feedback from the farmers regarding the introduction of new electronic tags for sheep, he feels that it is just another expense on the farmer.
“The farmer has been doing his bit since the system came into place on June 1st, we all got the new dispatch forms and electronic tags had to be used but what’s the advantage?"
“It’s never going to work for people who want to buy-in sheep,” he said, “because a person that must buy store lambs will do so from several different farmers, then you’re left with a few different tags and different herd numbers. That’s going to cause an issue for the factories.”
Commenting on the price of lamb he said, “The price of lamb and beef is a serious issue, there’ll be nobody farming in the next ten years."
The ICSA protest outside Kepak Athleague has been called off following discussions with Kepak management.ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara said that there had been a robust exchange of views and that further talks were planned for Thursday.
“Both sides agreed that current prices were wholly unsatisfactory from a farmer’s perspective. ICSA is insisting that the continuous severe cuts on sheep price cannot continue and that sheep farmers cannot be expected to lose money. We also had a strong exchange of views on weight limits which at 20.5kg are totally unreasonable at this time of year.”
“The protest is off now pending talks on Thursday.” However, Mr. McNamara warned that if prices continue to fall there are no guarantees that there won't be further protests at various meat plants in the coming weeks.