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Sheep farmers demand more transparency on imports

Confusion about volume and origin of imported stock being slaughtered here

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Lambs on the move.

Lambs on the move.

Brian Farrell

Lambs on the move.

Greater transparency on sheep imports has been demanded by farmers following recent confusion around the number of stock brought into the country for slaughter.

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara said Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen needed to address the issue "as a matter of urgency".

While figures from the EU's Trade Control and Expert System supplied by the Department of Agriculture show that Ireland imported 521,798 sheep in 2018 and 461,522 in 2019, the corresponding figures from the CSO were just 19,232 and 19,305.