IFA and ICSA take on sheep smuggling
THE IFA and ICSA in in the Republic's border counties are pooling resources for a crackdown on sheep smuggling which, both bodies claim, is seriously depressing prices for hundreds of southern breeders.
Both organisations have also appealed to the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) in the North to explore what steps they may be able to take to stop the illegal haulage of sheep across the border to slaughterhouses in the Republic.
The chairman of the ICSA sheep committee Paul Brady claimed there was evidence of some hauliers going "almost on a daily basis" to the South with loads of smuggled sheep.
Meanwhile an IFA regional spokesman in Monaghan said that something had to be done to halt the trade.
"We feel there is an urgent need for some form of action to be taken to stop this racket. New controls are necessary to prevent the smuggled sheep being handled at Southern plants," he said.
A UFU representative in Armagh said he was aware of the concerns expressed by the Southern farm organisations regarding the smuggling issue.
But he added that it was very difficult to prevent sheep being transported to the South after they had been legally purchased at farms or in the salesyard in the North.