Protocol difficulties unsustainable – Irwin
Mr Irwin has taken representations from farmers across the Province on Protocol related issues of late and was speaking after dealing with constituents who have faced difficulties bringing over pedigree cattle from mainland Great Britain.
Mr Irwin said “I have had farmers in recent days contact me to discuss difficulties in respect of importing pedigree animals from mainland UK.
“On bringing the animals home, they have since been told by the department that the animals have to be re-identified, as due to the NI Protocol, animals coming into Northern Ireland from the mainland are now classed as coming from a third country.”
He continued: “Farmers are angry and frustrated that these high value animals have to be re-identified, this could have the potential of lowering the value of the animals in the future.
“What was once a straightforward process of bringing pedigree animals from the mainland, is now becoming both a bureaucratic and financial burden.”
Mr Irwin concluded: “Again this is a direct and negative impact of the ever more detested protocol which is economically harmful to Northern Ireland.
“This makes no sense whatsoever and has added yet another nonsensical layer of red tape to an already over bureaucratic process.
“This highlights once again that the protocol is completely unworkable and the ever growing list of difficulties only makes the case stronger for its complete removal.”