12 April 2002

Mart boycott is put on hold

IRISH cattle dealers have declared a two-week amnesty in their dispute over the 30-day movement rule, suspending a planned boycott of auction marts until Apr 22.

Instead, the dealers have met with farm and trade organisations in an attempt to agree a common position to put to agriculture minister Joe Walsh in the hope of relaxing the regulations.

The dealers are upset because, following last years foot-and-mouth crisis, they have been banned from re-presenting animals for sale within 30 days of purchasing them at a mart.

Following a meeting this week with the other industry bodies, dealers leader Stephen Foley said good progress had been made towards a compromise that would allow two movements through a mart within the 30 days.

It is understood that the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association opposed the idea, preferring to stick with the current arrangement in the interests of biosecurity. &#42