Minister asked to intervene as beef farmers continue protest

Minister asked to intervene as beef farmers continue protest

There are calls for the the Minister for Agriculture to intervene as hundreds of farmers continue to picket meat-factories across the country.

Fianna Fail's Agriculture Spokesperson says the crisis affecting the sector is continuing to worsen as beef prices continue to fall.

Charlie McConalogue says beef farmers are on their knees and the Government can't just sit back and watch from the side-lines.

“It’s high time the Minister for Agriculture became engaged and tried to address the growing crisis in the Beef sector," he said.

"This week has seen rolling protests by the Beef Plan Movement at factory gates across the country as well as protests by the IFA at the EU Veterinary Office in Co Meath.

Beef farmers are on their knees with prices at a low that hasn’t been seen for many years.

"It’s simply not sustainable for the Government to expect farmers to continue to carry such heavy losses. The Minister must roll up his sleeves and seek to address the frustration that has led farmers to the picket lines this week," Deputy McConalogue added.

Meanwhile, the IFA's Livestock Chairman says a 'sweet-heart' deal between the EU and the US is another hammer-blow for Irish farmers.

Angus Woods says the non-hormone beef quota announced by Donald Trump on Friday is a "backdoor arrangement" which will further undermine beef prices.

"The announcement of the deal has come about because of the Mercosur trade deal which was agreed a couple of months back," Mr Woods said.

"Ultimately, it's going to end up with significantly more non-European beef on the European market place further depressing European beef prices," he explained.

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