‘No Irish’ as Russia to open market for EU beef.

‘FG/Lab Government heads’ in the sand’ while other EU states in Russian deal for cattle and beef offal – FF.

Sligo News File Online

Following steps taken by a several EU member states, Russia is set to authorise the import of both live cattle and beef offal originating in the EU.

Senator Marc MacSharry
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail

Describing the development as “hugely significant,” Fianna Fail has said in a statement that the move comes in the wake of “proactive steps taken by France, Denmark, Netherlands and Italy in establishing bilateral agreements with Russia.”

Sligo-based party Senator Marc MacSharry said that following an imminent veterinary inspection it is expected that Russia will be accepting beef offal from the four EU countries from late December or early January.   

Calling for government action, he said the Russian market “has been hugely important for Irish beef in the past and with limited outlets for manufacturing beef and offal products it is essential that the Fine Gael-Labour Government take their heads out of the sand and follow the proactive lead of some of our European partners.

“Despite improvements agreed at the recent forum many challenges still exist for the Irish Beef Sector.  With the lack of proactive market enabling actions such as those taken by our European partners our Government have also refused to take the EU to task on the lack of enforcement of Article 39b of the EU Treaty which guarantees a fair price to family families for their produce. Instead we still have large supermarket interests and processors freely erecting barriers to fair trade which seriously impact on the meagre return to farming families. This is against the law as laid down in the treaty and regulations must be introduced to prevent the bully boy tactics of large commercial interests.”

“The Government must be more pro-active and immediately engage with the Russian authorities on beef offal and live cattle so that Irish farm families can enjoy the same opportunities as their French, Dutch, Italian and Danish counterparts.  The Minister must also urgently seek regulation to protect farmers from the below cost prices that large commercial interests are demanding, as well as broadening the market for Irish meat products and the relaxing the prohibitive and unnecessary BSE-era regulations. 

“The farmers of Ireland deserve more than the administrative auto pilot of a government paralysed with indifference to our nation’s struggling agricultural SME sector”, he added.