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‘30 months age limit on all cattle must go’

The IBLA has called for the abolition of what it describes as the “unfair trading practice” of the under 30-months rule”.

It has urged beef plants to pay “the full” QA bonus on all animals up to 36 months.

The farm group issued a statement this afternoon (Thursday), following Minister McConalogue’s announcement regarding progress in expanding market access in Saudi Arabia for Irish beef.

The minister met with the leadership of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority in Riyadh on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022.

They reached an agreement in principle to lift the current restriction whereby Irish beef exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must come from cattle slaughtered under 30 months of age.

Under 30 months rule 

The IBLA has welcomed the fact that the under 30 months age limit is no longer a requirement for purchasing beef from Ireland.

Therefore, it believes the “30 months age limit on all cattle must go”.

A spokesperson said that the group has “long” questioned this unfair trading practice, which, it claims, has been imposed on Irish beef producers for many years.

“The United Arab Emirates is a fast-growing and progressive economy. It no longer sees any justification for seeking under 30 months beef.”

“They recognise the science, the veterinary competence, the surveillance, the OIE status and the premium grass-fed product that Irish beef is and which under Bord Bia’s current PGI application for grass-fed beef, permits an upper limit of 36 months.”

IBLA now calls on the agri-food industry, which has been recently supported to the tune of €70m, to now pay a QA bonus on all animals up to 36 months of age.

“There is now no longer an international requirement for under 30 months beef,” the spokesperson said.

Activity in marts

Continuing, the spokesperson said:

“IBLA, the dogs on the street, the farmers at the ringside, the factory procurement agents at the ringside, have clearly seen at the IBLA initiated fatstock sales, that the 30 months age limit, the weight limits, the movements and residencies have been disregarded by buyers on behalf of the Irish meat processing industry.”

“They have fought at the ringsides for any beef that passed through the ring. It is abundantly clear that even some of the aged livestock presented at fatstock sales, some with many movements and residencies, were welcomed with open arms and waving hands by factory buyers in an attempt to secure the beef.”

“Irish farmers were never fooled and will no longer be fooled by these unfair trading practices,” the spokesperson concluded.

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