Beef farmers in Kildare have escalated their strike at a meat factory this morning, preventing lorries from entering the Kildare Chilling Company.

There are 28 farmers currently at the factory, but around 65 attended the protest last night. Gardaí have arrived at the scene.

Farmers are protesting at what they say is a 25% reduction in the price being paid for their animals over the past 12 months.

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The national protest was initially coordinated by new organisation, Beef Plan, and began on 30 July and continued all week. However, now farmers have continued their own independent protest.

Farmers say that where once they used to perhaps make €10 or €20 a head per animal, they now lose between €150 and €200 per animal. One farmer said that that was including all costs of production including feed, diesel etc, but no allowance made for the cost of their labour.

"Beef takes up more of my time but gives me least return," said one farmer who has beef, sheep and horses.