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Advice for beef farmers: Think twice before you squeeze...

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association said meat factories are giving the impression that young bull beef is not wanted but we need to make sure live exports are viable.

THE IRISH CATTLE and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has warned suckler farmers to think twice before they castrate their weanlings this year to make sure that live exports are viable in Ireland.

Dermot Kelleher, suckler chairman, said we have to ensure that our live export markets are fostered. “Generally, the trade for live exports is for young bulls not for steers,” he explained “Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a big increase in farmers who are thinking of squeezing suckler bulls.”

He said farmers are getting signals from meat factories here that young bull beef is not wanted for key retail outlets but said farmers should not be totally dependant on factories in Ireland.

“Castration may be an option for some cattle that are not suited for live exports but top quality continental breed cattle are best left entire in my view,” he said. “These cattle are suited for exports to Italy and other live export markets. The Italian market for beef is improved compared to last year and we need to maximise exports to Italy.”

Read: Japan ends 12-year-ban and reopens its market to Irish beef>

Read: Ireland likely to be less than 1% over end of year milk quota>

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