Confusion over

new regulations for vet medicine

While it is a welcome development that it has been agreed to defer parts of the Veterinary Medicine Regulation relating to anti-parasitic products, this matter should be applied to the entire set of regulations until solutions that are appropriate for the applications are worked out between the groups that are involved, the chairman of Kerry ICMSA, David Diggins, said.

“The deferral of proposed new regulations in relation to the supply of anti-parasitic medicines until June 1, 2022 is a step in the right direction but ICMSA remains seriously concerned by the complexities of the new system and the additional costs being imposed on the sector at a time when it is also facing many other challenges. It is correct and proper that a deferral has been announced and - if necessary - it will have to be further delayed to put in place an effective, workable and cost-efficient regime,” he said.

Indeed, the deferral of these products should apply to all other veterinary remedies in order to allow time for the electronic prescription system time to ‘bed in’. This is set to become available in less than two months - by the end of January - and scope should be afforded to allow for the identification and amendment of any issues that arise.

It is essential that farmers have the capacity to employ all necessary antibiotic products that they require to combat particular animal health problems. He instances, for example, the use of lactation mastitis tubes on farms which will come beneath the full implementation of the Veterinary Medicine Regulations in January.

“Bluntly speaking, the ICMSA does not feel that the sector is ready for such a change. We think there is a need for further clarity on the requirements and farmers need to be given assurances that the new regime will be workable at farm level,” explained David Diggins, who farms outside Ballybunion.

“That’s not the situation at present and we fear a great deal of confusion that could be alleviated by a deferral for all veterinary medicines until June while a workable and practical regime is finalised. This is the minister’s direct responsibility and we think that he would be very prudent to announce a general deferral until then,” he advised.