Processors highlight disease risks from dirty sheep
Dirty sheep will continue to be turned away by slaughter plants, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has insisted.
MII said the clean livestock policy (CLP) continued to be a "critical food safety aspect" of the sheep business and was "important to the reputation of the entire Irish sheep sector".
However, MII declined to comment on claims of overcharging by some plants in relation to the clipping of sheep.
"Any charges applied in the sector are a commercial matter between the supplier and processors," MII stated.
Cormac Healy of MII said progress was being made on the issue of clean sheep but he maintained that the industry would not allow any slippage in standards.
"We need to acknowledge that most suppliers are making strenuous efforts to deliver cleaner lambs for slaughter," he said. "Nevertheless, at this stage of the year and for the season ahead, our members are obliged to continually implement the clean livestock policy.
"It is the case that some sheep will be refused acceptance for slaughter if the fleece condition is very poor.
"The numbers involved are limited, but refusal for slaughter has been and will continue to apply where necessary.