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Saturday 25 February 2017

Time for 32-county sheep labelling: SF

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Martin Ferris
Martin Ferris

SINN FÉIN has called for an all-island labelling system for sheep in Ireland.

Speaking following a meeting with sheep producers from Armagh and Northern agriculture minister Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Féin's agriculture spokesman Martin Ferris said it was time for Ireland as a whole to move to a single country of origin label.

Since the introduction of new European labelling regulations on April 1, lamb reared in one jurisdiction but killed in another was labelled 'mixed origin'. Mr Ferris said this was causing serious problems for the Irish industry, where a lot of lambs are traded across the Border.

"Flexibilities and leniency must be offered by the European Commission, given the anomaly of Ireland's constitutional situation.

"We will be considering the merits of using a voluntary label as a temporary measure; however, we strongly believe that all-island branding is the only solution to this current crisis," said Deputy Ferris.

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