A massive drop in mart entries due to cold snap
Published 07/12/2010 | 05:00
Freezing conditions have played havoc with the transport of animals to and from the country's marts and meat plants over the past week.
However, feed supplies appear to be holding steady on farms, with additional fodder supplies available nationwide.
Up to 75pc of the 33,000 animals that would normally have been put through the ring in the past week have remained unsold due to the treacherous conditions of the country's roads, according to ICOS.
Mart managers believe that many will now miss their sale window due to stock moving out of test for disease purposes.
Beef plants were also affected with the national kill back by 7,000hd -- nearly 20pc -- on the previous week. However, almost all the meat plants operated normally with only Kepak Hacketstown forced to shut temporarily.
Many marts simply cancelled their sales, with events throughout Donegal, Wexford, Kildare and Carlow particularly badly hit. Those that stayed open saw numbers back by up to 90pc, even in areas not particularly affected by the snow.
Bandon Mart reported a turnout of 10pc of their norm last week. Roscrea, Ennis, Castleisland, Ardee and Tullow were are all back by at least 50pc on numbers.
Kilmallock appeared to get off lightest as no cancellations and a good turnout was reported for its bullock and heifer sale last Monday week.