ICSA calls for investigation into insurance charges

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chairman, Edmond Phelan, has called for an urgent investigation into insurance deducted from farmers at Irish meat factories.    

  “Many farmers believe that this is a rip off that is totally unwarranted.  Moreover, insurance products are regulated by the central bank and ICSA wants to know if this product is properly licenced or regulated and if not, why it is allowed to continue.

  “There is no information on factory dockets as to the terms and conditions of this insurance. The charge imposed is generally €2.50 per animal but there are some factories charging even more. Cows or other animals deemed high risk won’t be insured or in some cases, are subjected to a much higher fee of €5 upwards. ICSA estimates that this is costing farmers over €4 million.

  “The benefit to farmers from this scheme is limited to carcass adulteration which is highly unlikely in prime beef. We want to see full transparency over how many animals have been covered by this where a problem arises, and to what extent.”

  Mr. Phelan went on to question whether it was merely a money-making scheme, before adding: “When you look at it from the point of view of farmers, it is highly likely that it represents a very over-priced product relative to the risk and it is time that the whole process is examined independently. If it is a legitimate insurance product, it should be regulated, if it isn’t it shouldn’t be allowed.”