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Speaking to MPs in Westminster, the DUP DEFRA spokesperson said: “The reality is that in Northern Ireland, due to the regulation and bureaucracy associated with the Northern Ireland Protocol, we face the real prospect of animal welfare issues due to problems accessing a range of animal medicines.”
With grace periods running out at the end of this year, it is predicted that up to half the medicines currently on the market will be difficult to obtain. The president of the British Veterinary Association has warned that “costly bureaucracy and the threat of onerous regulating and border checks of veterinary medicine”, risks an animal welfare crisis and a potential shortage of animal medicines.
Ms Lockhart continued: “When someone in such a key role within the industry speaks of such dire circumstances around the corner, it is imperative that government act. We continue to have people, including many political parties, downplay the issues with the Protocol. The same people would claim to be champions of animal welfare. They cannot have it both ways. It is increasingly clear that the Protocol puts so many aspects of our economy at risk, and this includes farming.
Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said comments by the President of the British Veterinary Association regarding access to animal medicines reinforces the need for the Government to act to address the problems caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“The DUP remain committed to finding workable solutions to these issues and we hope a negotiated agreement can be found. Failing that, we must see the Protocol Bill passed at Westminster,” she added.