ANTI-PARASITIC REGIME PUSHED BACK TO 1 JUNE 2022

‘Prescription shall be valid for one year, rather than an initial proposal of five days’
Sligo News File

Hugh Farrell, ICSA Animal Health and Welfare chairman

ICSA Animal Health & Welfare chairman Hugh Farrell has said that farmers will be relieved that the introduction of a requirement for prescriptions for anti-parasitic treatments and medicated feed for livestock has been deferred until 1 June 2022.

This, he said, was meant to come in on January 28, 2022 “but there has been a concerted effort by ICSA, other farm organisations, and the Licensed Merchants representatives against this.  We have also succeeded in ensuring that the prescription shall be valid for one year, rather than an initial proposal of five days.

“This will entail the implementation of a National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS) which will be based on an electronic app which will be used by veterinary practitioners. It is being used in response to the EU Veterinary Medicines Regulation 2019/4.”

Mr Farrell was speaking following yesterday’s meeting of the Anti-Parasitic Resistance (APR) Stakeholder Group.

“We have received important clarification that licensed merchants and registered pharmacies as well as vets may continue to sell anti-parasitic treatments such as wormers. ICSA has also got clarification that the vet shall prescribe on the basis of the active ingredient which ensures that all generic products will continue to be available.

“In practice, the vet will issue the prescription and the farmer may choose to buy from the vet or bring the prescription elsewhere. While we continue to believe that this is a sledgehammer measure being used to crack a nut, the combined efforts of farmers and licensed merchants and other suppliers has ensured that we have not ended up with a totally unworkable and restrictive regime.

“Nonetheless, there is now a major onus on the Department to ensure that farmers are made fully aware of the new regime in good time. I am also concerned that the regime must be monitored in terms of its impact on competition and pricing.

“ICSA is also concerned that the electronic app system needs to be trialled and that any potential problems are ironed out before this kicks in.”