The Independent Licensed Merchants Association (ILMA), which represents licensed merchants in Ireland, has appointed Ian Scott as its new secretary general.

Scott was the secretary general of the UK’s Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA) for nine years.

In addition, he has been a board member of Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS), and director for Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Association (AMTRA) and Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA).

According to the ILMA, Scott “successfully fought for the rights of the specially qualified professional in the UK to continue prescribing anti-parasitic veterinary medicines”.

He joins the association when the future of 1,600 “responsible persons” is under threat from proposed legislation currently being prepared by officials at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

ILMA, with “substantial” political support, says that it is now legally challenging the Department of Agriculture’s interpretation of a new EU regulation that could force all farmers to pay for a vet prescription before buying essential anti-parasitic medicines such as wormers, pour-ons and fly control.

An ILMA spokesman expressed delight in the appointment, stating: “Ian has worked closely with us for the past six months over this issue.

“It is evident his depth of knowledge and experience will assist our efforts to secure a viable future for the ‘responsible persons’ who play a key role in advising farmers on anti-parasitic resistance as well as offering unrivalled availability and local knowledge,” the spokesperson added.