IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman John Lynskey said the move by the two major lamb factory groups to impose clipping charges across the board on all lambs under the cover of the clean livestock policy is totally wrong.
He said factories are taking advantage of sheep farmers and imposing charges of 20/25c per sheep clipping charge across the board, despite the fact that the Department of Agriculture has not yet introduced a clean sheep policy and is still consulting stakeholders on the matter.
John Lynskey has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the Department of Agriculture to call in the lamb factories and insist that they remove the across the board clipping charges, which the Department has outlined are not justified.
The IFA Sheep farmer leader said the main lamb factories have jumped the gun on this. He said the Department has pointed out that in their view the majority of sheep will fall into Category 1 on the proposed Clean Livestock policy categorisation, which does not require any additional intervention form the processor for slaughter. He said the move by some factories to impose a clipping charge on every lamb is totally wrong. He said a plant killing 3,000 sheep per day is charging farmer suppliers €2,400/€3,000 per week in clipping fees.
John Lynskey said IFA was working with the Department of Agriculture and Meat Industry Ireland on the clean livestock policy for sheep but because the factories have now decided to ignore these discussions and impose an unfair and unjustified charge on all sheep, IFA is withdrawing from the current discussions.