As procurement managers move to secure lamb supplies, ICSA has said farmers around the country are struggling to have their lambs slaughtered as factories are fully booked up.
It comes as the approaching Eid al-Adha festival sees factories working close to peak capacity to lift output.
Last week’s kill was recorded at 58,209 head with a day’s less processing reducing throughput by about 5,000 head.
It is expected that this week’s kill will rival or even surpass last year’s peak weekly throughput of 72,889 head.
While the majority of lambs are trading from €5/kg to €5.10/kg, ICSA sheep chair John Brooks has said the big throughput raised questions about the origin of some of the sheep.
He stated: “ICSA has been getting reports of extra quantities of lamb coming down from the north of Ireland for slaughter in the south.
"Sheep from across the border have always been brought down here but the larger numbers are getting out of hand.
“They are having too much of a knock-on effect with farmers in the south having difficulty getting their own slaughtered.
"As far as we can see, this is just another ploy to keep prices down at a time when farmers are suffering due to drought costs.”
He said the use of these lambs showed a complete lack of respect for both the producer and the consumer due to labelling issues. He added the practise put the idea of traceability, origin green and quality assurance at risk.