The issue of changes to vet medicine regulations will once again come before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine today (Tuesday, April 27).

The meeting will take place across two separate sessions from 6:30pm this evening.

The meeting will begin with a one-hour session with representatives from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

Then, at 7:30pm, representatives from the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) will appear. VCI is the statutory body for the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine.

This will be the fourth committee meeting devoted to this specific topic in recent months.

Similar meetings were held in November, February and March. At the meeting in March, Veterinary Ireland – the body which represents veterinary practitioners – appeared.

The issue revolves around EU vet medicine regulations that will come into effect in Ireland in January next year.

Among other things, these regulations will prevent some veterinary medicines – including antiparasitic products – from being distributed to farmers without a prescriptions from a vet.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, the agriculture committee chairperson Jackie Cahill said: “It is a little over a month since Veterinary Ireland appeared to assist the committee in our scrutiny of the [regulation] as many in the agri sector are concerned that these regulations impact in a big way on their livelihoods.

“Furthermore, the appearance and insight of the Health Products Regulatory Authority, the state agency entrusted with the responsibility of protecting public and animal health by regulation, will be most welcome,” Cahill said.

This evening’s meeting, in Committee Room 2 at Leinster House, can be viewed here.