Clean Sheep Policy Must Be Fair And Practical – IFA
IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey has said the Clean Livestock Policy from the Department of Agriculture on sheep needs to be finalised and adopted in a fair and practical manner at the meat plants. He said the current approach of some meat plants applying an across the board clipping charge on sheep is wrong and contrary to the policy from the Department.
John Lynskey said the majority of sheep will fall into Category A, and the Department has confirmed to IFA that it is not a requirement to clip and apply charges on these animals. He said the move by some factories to impose a clipping charge on every lamb is totally wrong. He said a plant killing 3,000 sheep per day is charging farmer suppliers €2,400/€3,000 per week in clipping fees.
He said it is essential that the Department, together with Teagasc, immediately finalise the CLP arrangements and provide agreed photographic material on the three categories to all meat plants. He said both farmers and factories need to be clear on the requirements and that they are applied in a fair and consistent way across all meat plants.
John Lynskey said the requirements under the CPL are set out under the three categories and all additional material is advice and recommendations only.
John Lynskey said sheep farmers are conscious of the requirements under the Clean Livestock Policy and will take practical steps to ensure that sheep are fit for slaughter, when presented. He said factories and hauliers also have a major role to play on the Clean Sheep policy.
Sheep CLP categories
The Department will verify a 3-category system, requiring food business operators at slaughtering establishments to categorise sheep as follows:
Satisfactory – Sheep that can be slaughtered, without an unacceptable risk of contaminating the meat during the slaughter process, by using the standard hygienic dressing procedures routinely employed by the plant.
Acceptable – Sheep that can only be slaughtered, without an unacceptable risk of contamination of the meat during the slaughter process, by putting in place additional interventions including extra defined dressing controls.
Unacceptable – Sheep unfit for slaughter because of fleece condition. These sheep must not be presented for ante-mortem in this condition and it is the responsibility of the Food Business Operator (FBO) to take the required remedial action.