Vet medicines: ‘Breathing space for merchants’ after deferral

A TD said the decision to postpone the start of the new veterinary regulations from January to June “gives licensed dealers a respite”.

It was confirmed yesterday that these rules will be postponed for six months. Thereafter, anti-parasitic veterinary drugs will be prescription from a veterinarian.

This raised a number of concerns, especially when it comes to licensed dealers, with some politicians and industry officials saying dealers would suffer from competition if veterinarians controlled both the prescription and retail sale of drugs.

Independent TD Carol Nolan said, however, that the latest development in the long-term edition “opens room for the possibility of more flexibility”.

Nolan said she had “cautiously welcomed” the Department of Agriculture, Food and Navy decision to establish a National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS).

Nolan has been in close contact with licensed dealers on this issue for several months. She argued that “everything must be done now” to ensure that the new regulatory system retains the ability of Responsible Persons (RPs) to prescribe and sell anti-parasitic veterinary medicines after the rules come into effect next June.

“The entire licensed trader sector has been under tremendous pressure with the upcoming application of the EU directive that would have completely destabilized their business model,” said the Laois-Offaly TD.

“Fortunately, today’s decision is not the end of the road, but at least there is room for the possibility of a more flexible regulatory approach.”

“We’ll wait for the details of the proposal to be clearer, but right now there’s some relief and that’s welcome,” concluded Nolan.

The postponement in the entry into force of the rules was welcomed by all sides, with the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) saying the postponement will also take some pressure off farmers.

ICSA Animal Health Committee Chairman Hugh Farrell said, “This was supposed to be on January 28, 2022, but there has been a concerted effort against it from the ICSA, other agricultural organizations and representatives of the licensed traders.

“We also managed to ensure that the recipe was valid for a year, not just five days,” said Farrell.