The mart managers of Ireland and a number of Irish cattle breed societies have joined forces to seek change for the new export rules from Ireland to Britain.
As of 1 January, animals can no longer be exported straight to Britain following a sale in Ireland, without returning from the mart and completing a 40-day residence in an Irish herd number.
This week, the Mart Managers Association of Ireland penned a letter to Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue stating the matter needed urgent attention.
In the letter, association chairperson Eimear McGuinness tells of the serious concern mart mangers and breed societies have in relation to their UK-based customers and the important role they play in the trade of livestock throughout Ireland.
She said: “Direct access to mainland UK is a must for Irish farmers and we believe that a workable solution must be found whereby marts are allowed to continue to facilitate sales and animals with export status can move direct to the UK as was the case previous[ly].
“Both countries hold the highest of welfare standards and the situation being presented at present is completely unworkable and must be changed as a matter of urgency.”
The letter to the Minister was accompanied by a number of statements from marts and breed societies, which are impacted most by the new rules.
Secretary of the Irish Charolais Cattle Society Nevan McKiernan said: “This new rule will have a massive impact on all pedigree cattle sales here in Ireland, but, more importantly, our commercial cattle sales in marts. It will be detrimental for live trade here.
“What we would like to see is a workable solution reached, whereby marts would not actually count as a movement, but as a facility to allow export-eligible animals move direct to the UK from our sales.”
Irish Limousin Cattle Society president Trevor Masterson highlighted the recent success of Irish breeding in the UK setting a new breed world record and said: “The new requirement to take animals, which have been sold, back to the farm of origin and maintain them for a further 40 days residency period prior to export makes no sense whatsoever.”
In a letter from Peadar Glennon, secretary of the Simmental society, he highlighted that last autumn's society sale saw the sale of an Irish Simmental bull for an all-breeds record of €52,000.
This animal was purchased by a UK customer, with the under-bidder of that animal also UK-based.