The ICSA has welcomed a move to push new EU vet rules back to June 2022.
Its animal health and welfare chair, Hugh Farrell, said farmers will be “relieved” that the requirement for prescriptions for anti-parasitic treatments and medicated feed for livestock has been deferred.
Farrell spoke following today’s (November 24th, 2021) meeting of the Anti-parasitic Resistance (APR) Stakeholder Group.
New EU vet rules
“This was meant to come in on January 28th 2022. However, 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.”
He said this will entail implementing a National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS). The ICSA rep explained that this will be an electronic app that veterinary practitioners will use.
“It is being used in response to the EU Veterinary Medicines Regulation 2019/4.”
“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, he said the vet will issue the prescription. 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 have ensured that we have not ended up with a totally unworkable and restrictive regime.”
Nonetheless, he said there is now a “major” onus on the department to ensure that farmers are made fully aware of the new regime in “good” time.
Farrell expressed that he is 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,” he concluded.