A financial support package for egg producers unveiled by the Irish government will create a competitive disadvantage for Northern Irish farmers, the Ulster Farmers' Union has warned.

Earlier this month, Brendan Smith, the Irish minister for agriculture, fisheries and food, pledged 29m of funding to assist farmers with the cost of converting sow and poultry housing to meet impending EU animal welfare legislation. However, the announcement has sparked anger across the border, with the Ulster Farmers' Union deriding the Northern Irish government for failing to do more to help its own egg producers.

"These actions are in contrast to the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development's lack of support for the poultry industry and reinforces the fact that funding from the Farm Modernisation Scheme will not be enough," said UFU poultry committee chairman John McLenaghan.