Sheep prices 'unjustified'
Attempts by the meat plants to slash sheep prices have been slammed by farmer bodies.
The ICSA has described the current low prices being paid by factories for sheep as "totally unjustified and unacceptable."
James Murphy of the IFA described efforts by meat plants to cut prices by 70c to €1/kg or €15 to €20 per lamb as a "disaster for early lamb producers and sheep farmers".
Over 10 days there has been an average price drop of between 40-70c/kg, with spring lambs down as far as €5.70/kg or €5.80/kg.
Mr Murphy accused the factories of attempting to take advantage of sheep farmers following the exceptionally high cost of the fodder crisis.
He said some factories were bluntly telling farmers they didn't want their lambs unless they could get them cheaper.
The IFA sheep farmers' leader said there was no market justification for the severe price cuts this week. He said lamb supplies were in very tight supply and farmers should strongly resist the price cuts.
ICSA national sheep chair, Paul Brady, said the prices being quoted were "frankly shocking".