The introduction of new penalties on lambs over 21.5kg has outraged ICSA sheep chair Seán McNamara, who has branded it as a “new low”.

“It has come to our attention that severe penalties are now being applied to so-called overweight lambs. Not only will lambs above the 21.5kg mark not be paid out on the excess weight, but they are also now being cut on the base price. This is effectively introducing a lamb pricing grid, without consultation, and is an absolute disgrace,” he said.

Imposing this extra penalty is just adding insult to injury

He further spoke about cuts of 40c to 50c being imposed on the base price, which means that farmers could “be hit for over €10 a lamb”, which, he said, would be on top of prices being way down over the course of the last year.

He has accused factories of taking a product for free and selling it forward. “Imposing this extra penalty is just adding insult to injury,” he said.


“Not only this, but lambs coming in under the 21.5kg mark with a U4 or R4 fat rating are also being hit with a 40c penalty,” McNamara pointed out.

“Loading penalties on top of penalties is totally unacceptable and something that factories should not be allowed to get away with it. It is an outrageous way to treat loyal suppliers who have turned up at factory gates this week, only to be hit with these over-the-top cuts.”

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