'Dirty' sheep saga takes another twist as prices rise
Changing circumstances sometimes make for strange alliances.
Yesterday morning, John Brooks, the ICSA's sheep chairman and frequent critic of factory policies, sided with his erstwhile adversaries and urged Minister Michael Creed to intervene directly in the ongoing 'dirty' sheep controversy. His move came after Kepak Athleague was forced to close its doors for a time this week.
"At this point nothing short of an intervention from Minister Michael Creed will suffice," said Mr Brooks, following numbers of sheep sent for clipping.
"This is an absolute disaster for our important sheep export sector. It is clear that what has been going on in recent days is total gridlock which no business could sustain. This move by Kepak must be taken seriously and the Clean Livestock Policy (CLP) will have to be modified without delay."
Kepak were not in a position to comment on developments but it's clear that it's not good when a major employer is forced to cease trading, even for a short time
Later reports indicated the plant resumed killing on Monday afternoon. However the question remains as to how this ongoing problem is going to solved.
On the price front all factories raised their quotes by 10c/kg. It's unclear whether this is due to genuine market forces or the influence of Agriculture Department enforcement of the clean sheep policy, with factories being forced to quote for additional numbers just to cover their basic requirements.
Kildare Chilling lead the quotes table with €5.10+10c/kg quality assurance for hoggets with Kepak Athleague, despite yesterday's difficulties, battling into second place on €5.10+5c/kg quality payment.