Animal preventative remedies regulations ‘need to be re-examined’

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has been called on to “urgently re-examine regulations” that would prohibit those who can currently sell and administer animal preventative remedies from continuing to do so without a prescription from a veterinary surgeon.

This is the view of independent TD for Laois/Offaly deputy Carol Nolan, who said she was contacted by various concerned agricultural sector stakeholders about the matter.

The midlands TD said that, among those in touch, were animal remedy providers who are concerned that the proposed changes will have a devastating impact on their commercial viability and by farmers who fear that the “new measures will create additional and unnecessary obstacles in the operation of their farms”.

Commenting, she said:

Minister Creed made it clear before Christmas that new regulations on Veterinary Medicinal Products (VMP) and medicated feed will come into effect from January 2022 after being adopted by the European Council in 2018.

“He also indicated that his department is currently developing a public consultation process to be undertaken in 2020 on this very matter,” deputy Nolan noted.

The TD said that, when the matter was being debated at European Parliament level in 2017, “it was made explicitly clear by farming organisations…that the regulations did not provide sufficient flexibility”.

She added that they were thought by farm groups to be “unduly dismissive of the training and professionalism of both the providers and the farmers”.

I accept that there are concerns around the need to ensure the appropriate administration of remedies such as those with antibiotics; but I also want to stress that farmers have long experience and clear knowledge about the best interests of their animals.

Deputy Nolan added that she understands the proposed measures would also affect the dispensing and administration of worm and fluke doses.

“I will be writing to the minister, especially in light of the significant challenges that the Covid-19 crisis is generating in every sector including agriculture and farming, to immediately re-evaluate his intentions to bring in measures that will create significant financial burdens on already over-stretched and under-resourced farmers and providers,” the TD concluded.