Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association beef chairman Edmond Phelan has castigated meat factories for “misleading farmers by encouraging them into Friesian bull beef two years ago, and now leaving them high and dry.
The bull beef backlog is now a crisis and the future of beef farming is again on a knife edge.”
Mr Phelan questioned the commitment of factories to Irish beef farming and suggested that many beef farmers are now on the edge of despair as they look at pens of bulls that are unsaleable and rapidly approaching two years old.
“Judging by the calls I have received in the past week, I fear for the mental health of some farmers caught up in this situation,” he said.
Mr Phelan also suggested that factories are trying to eliminate bulls because they want to undermine the live trade to North Africa, which is mainly for bulls.
“Then when they have a build up of steer beef, they will be able to cut steer price,” said Mr Phelan.