THE beef sector is at crisis point due to the continuing slump in factory prices and the threat of a no-deal Brexit, farm leaders are warning.

Beef farmers will be directly in the firing line of a no-deal Brexit.

The Government will be looking for a “mega-money” aid package from the EU to offset the damage.

The pre-Christmas slump in cattle prices carried over into the new year, with factory quotes unchanged and farmers struggling to get stock killed.

Adding to the existing problems, a ‘work-to-rule‘ protest by temporary veterinary inspectors (TVIs) is seriously disrupting operations at slaughter plants.

ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham predicted that 2019 will be a make-or-break year for many beef farmers.

“As it stands, many farmers are on the brink of giving up. It simply isn‘t economic to produce beef at current prices.

“When we factor in Brexit uncertainty and the risk of a no-deal outcome, the potential for things to get worse has many farmers ready to pull the plug on unprofitable systems,” he told the Farming Independent.