ICSA Farming Reports

Sheep farmers angry at price collapse

BSE must not be used to drive down price
Dog-owners urged to act responsibly with their animals

Sligo News File Online

Sheep farmers angry at price collapse

 

John Brooks, National Chairman, ICSA Sheep Committee
John Brooks,
National Chairman, ICSA Sheep Committee

ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has warned that sheep farmers are angry at the recent price collapse. “Sheep farmers are producing high quality product at a very expensive time of year, and are now being forced to sell at a loss,” he said.

“Prices have collapsed in recent weeks, at a time when farmers could reasonably expect that demand for their product would be at its peak. Spring lamb is at its best, sterling is strong and Ramadan is underway – farmers are understandably angry at the price collapse.”

“Many ICSA members attended the Teagasc Sheep 2015 event in Athenry on Saturday, where they heard very positive stories from meat factories about the outlook for sheep farming, and yet by Monday, there had been another savage cut in prices. Quotes are now down at least 50c/kg on this time last year. There is no doubt that factories are talking down the trade, with many quoting €4.80 and less but paying €5 – we see this as an attempt to instil panic in sheep farmers rather than trying to work with them for everyone’s benefit.

“It is in nobody’s interest to driver farmers out of business, particularly given the reduction in the Irish sheep population. All we are looking for is a fair price that recognises the cost and effort that goes into producing high-quality lamb at this time of year,” he concluded.

BSE must not be used to drive down price

 

Patrick Kent, President, Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association.
Patrick Kent, President, Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association.

ICSA president Patrick Kent has warned that confirmation of a BSE case in Louth must not be used as an excuse to drive down price.

“Farmers have seen a welcome tightening of prices in recent days, and meat processors cannot use this result, an isolated one-off case, as a stick to hammer farmers with,” he said.

“It is likely that the case will have little or no impact on Irish exports, and we don’t expect to see any impact on farmgate prices either.”

Dog-owners urged to act responsibly with their animals

ICSAFollowing an attack in Cork this week which resulted in the deaths of a ram and seven pedigree ewes, ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has urged dog-owners to be responsible with their animals and ensure that that they are secure at all times.

“All dogs, from cherished family pets to prized working dogs, can potentially cause serious distress and damage if they are not kept under control. Sheep are completely defenceless, and it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to protect them from attack,” said Mr. Brooks.

“One of our members in Cork recently came home to find that eight of his pedigree Zwartbles sheep, a key component of his Clashflock Zwartbles breeding stock, had been brutally attacked and were either dead or near death as a result.”

“I would call on all dog owners to ensure that they do their duty and keep their dogs under control at all times to avoid these horrible scenes.”