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Sinn Féin urge unity among Irish farmers

1 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Agricultural and Rural Development spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has expressed her disappointment at the very divisive statement issued by the National Beef Association Chairman David Burrell.

Ms Gildernew said:

"In a statement yesterday Mr Burrell has attributed Irish Beef to that of Non EU beef in terms of it traceability and quality. He has said that Irish Beef has been added to the import list that falls substantially short of domestic standards.

"Mr Burrell has used what can only be described as pedantic and divisive reasoning to categorise Irish Beef in the same vein as Non EU Beef, yet Irish beef is amongst the best in the world.

"This attack, coming at a time when all farmers should be supporting each other and coming together to achieve a proper income for all farm families, is short sighted and damaging.

"Multinationals and other vested interests can walk across farmers with virtually impunity when farmers are divided, Mr Burrell and the NBA should retract this statement and stand together with all farmers for the good of their industry.

"I am calling on the representatives of the NBA in the North to state their position in relation to Mr Burrell's comments, and whether his view represents the collective view of the NBA?" ENDS

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