A Covid-19 compensation package for sheep farmers must be given “serious consideration” following the temporary closure of Kildare Chilling as a result of the health pandemic.
That is the view of ICSA sheep chairman, Sean McNamara, who said sheep farmers have “received nothing” by way of support during this crisis.
“They have suffered from the same market fluctuations as beef farmers, yet their plight has been ignored.”
“The closure of Kildare Chilling will just pile on the pressure and Minister Calleary must act now on their behalf,” he said.
McNamara said the closure of Kildare Chilling will likely mean that many farmers will have difficulty booking their lambs in elsewhere for processing and could result in further price cuts.
“We are a factory down at present, and still factories are bringing in imported lambs, for what?”
“Prices this week were already well back on last week with quotes down by as much as 50c/kg.”
“Now, we face the prospect of the closure of Kildare Chilling being used as an excuse by other factories to cut prices further. It is simply too much for sheep farmers to bear.”
McNamara reiterated the farm organisation’s call for a dedicated sheep taskforce, as reported by us here. “The sector is being hammered on all sides and it must be given urgent attention.”
“Sheep farmers need support and they must be given a lifeline if we want them to stay going,” he concluded.