Irwin concern on supply of veterinary medicines

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Mr Irwin said there is a growing crisis around this issue and it highlighted the damage that the Northern Ireland Protocol has done and will do if not robustly addressed.

The MLA stated: “This is yet another unwanted and uncalled for restriction and the root cause is the ridiculous, costly and burdensome Northern Ireland Protocol. For important medicinal animal products to be unavailable in Northern Ireland come the new year, will be a very worrying situation and vets I have spoken to are concerned by this looming crisis. Animal welfare is a very important part of farming and is a key aspect of why Northern Ireland food produce is of the very highest quality.”

He said: “I have noted comments by the former Chair of the DAERA Committee Declan McAleer in this paper on Wednesday where he blames the DUP for current pressures, when in fact Mr McAleer is ignoring the fact that the Protocol is something that his party, along with other Executive parties, demanded in an Assembly motion the ‘rigorous implementation’ of. Declan McAleer’s party and co-supporters of the Assembly motion chose the word ‘rigorous’ for a reason, yet in this latest broadside against the DUP he ignores the problems the Protocol creates for farmers and our agri-food industry.

William Irwin MLA

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“In my role I have sought to be vocal and vociferous in protecting farmers, for instance with warnings around devastatingly harsh climate change laws that Sinn Fein, Alliance and the SDLP wanted to impose on every farmer which would have decimated the industry and of course my work in highlighting the very damaging Northern Ireland Protocol. The fact that come the New Year vital veterinary medicines are now to be out of reach in Northern Ireland is further proof of the urgency around this matter.

“This is going to create a very real problem for my farming constituents and I would urge all parties within the Assembly to switch on to the harsh reality of the protocol and demand the type of change that will deliver stable government. There cannot be a return to government with the protocol damaging our position within the United Kingdom and creating significant and costly problems for many sectors.”