The ICSA has called on all processors to remove lower weight limits for spring lamb.
The association’s sheep chair, Sean McNamara, believes that payable weights should start no lower than 22kgs.
He has urged all processors to “do their bit for sheep farmers” and commit to paying for up to 22kgs “at the very minimum” all year round.
McNamara stated that it has “never been more important” to support primary producers.
He said that costs have risen “significantly”, and factories “will only add to these pressures” if they introduce weight limits of 19kg in the coming weeks.
“They have an obligation to support their local suppliers in these tough times,” he said.
Spring lamb weight limits
“All we are asking is that they payout for 22kg of spring lamb instead of taking a portion of it for free,” he said.
“The difference between getting paid for 22kg as opposed to 19kg is upwards of €20/head.”
“Those additional kilos of lamb are perfectly saleable for the factories. They do sell it on – and make 100% profit on it off the backs of low-income sheep farmers in the process.”
He stated that one must remember that producing spring lamb is “a very expensive and labour-intensive” operation.
“We, as sheep farmers, have been working around the clock to produce these lambs for the busy Easter market. We cannot afford to give valuable kilos of lamb away for nothing.”
“For too long, processors have used this underhanded tactic to penalise farmers and keep their payments to a minimum.”
“There is simply no justification for it, and especially so given the current situation,” he concluded.
Dog shot and lamb left with ‘significant’ injury after flock attacked
A dead dog and a lamb with a “significant” injury are the results of a livestock worrying attack, which occurred in Cheshire over the weekend.
On Sunday, March 13th, 2022, a dog broke free of its lead and went on to worry several sheep, injuring one. The lamb sustained bite marks to its nose and under its chin.
According to Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team’s Sgt Simpson, the owner witnessed the “horrific” incident and attempted to recall the dog.