Newtownstewart Mart in Co Tyrone is understood to be the first livestock market in Northern Ireland to provide cattle buyers at the point of sale, information on the number of farm residencies.

To date, the other marts have refused to provide the information, despite the threat from meat plants to introduce new penalties for cattle with more than four farm residencies.

At present, only one meat plant operator has formally announced their plans, although at least one other factory has indicated that new penalties will be in place soon.

A number are also refusing to pay the 14p/kg in-spec bonus on what are otherwise suitable cattle.

Farmers who had deals done at these factories have reported that cattle with more than four residencies are being paid at base quotes, not the agreed price.

The marts maintain the proposed penalties on cattle with more than four residencies are a direct attack on their business, with most remaining resolute that they will not provide the information.

At Newtownstewart Mart last Saturday, one observer told the Irish Farmers Journal that buyers tended to “shy away” from cattle that had three or more residencies.


Meanwhile, base quotes for cattle have been cut by 4p/kg at two factories and are in the range of 324p/kg to 330p/kg. At least one factory has threatened further cuts next week if prices in England continue to slip.

However, other sources in the trade maintain that further cuts are unlikely as local cattle numbers have tightened.

Some farmers with in-spec cattle have managed to secure a base of 338p/kg this week, plus the 14p/kg bonus, which is 8p/kg more than the offer they received elsewhere.