A proposed law that would force farmers to obtain a veterinary prescription to buy antiparasitic medicines, including leech and worm cans, will “leave the floodgates open” to cross-border trade, animal health providers have warned.
The Irish Co-Operative Organization Society, the Independent Licensed Merchants Association and the Irish Pharmacy Union have increased pressure on the Department of Agriculture to reverse plans to ban pharmacists and trained “responsible persons” from prescribing antiparasitic medicines in shops nationwide from December 1 Year.
Before the Oireachtas Joint Agriculture Committee to implement the new EU Veterinary Medicines Regulations, stakeholders said the Republic’s prescription/dispensing system has not been brought into line with that of Northern Ireland – where pharmacists, veterinarians and “suitably qualified persons” (the equivalent of the United Kingdom’s “Responsible Persons”) prescribing all antiparasitics – will lead to “the development of an unnecessary and harmful black market in veterinary medicines”.
They argued that excluding professionals other than veterinarians from issuing prescriptions would lead to less competition in the sector, increased administrative burdens, higher costs for farmers, reduced availability of products, adverse effects on animal welfare, reduced food quality assurance and job losses. Businesses and services in rural areas.
ILMA’s Barry Larkin said: “Agricultural retailers have many concerns about this bill but it is the availability of goods from Northern Ireland that most challenges aspects of this bill.
“An all-Ireland approach would be better, or at least the same processes on both sides of the border. Currently a farmer can go to Northern Ireland, buy any antiparasitic product he likes over the counter and bring it back across the border – he may be breaking his Bord Bia regulations by using that product, but if he doesn’t record his use, no problem. If the bill is introduced in its current form, it will increase any amount.”
ILMA’s Ollie Ryan added: “You [the Department] will leave the floodgates open because the interpretation is different across the border.
“Any trader in the frontier would be totally wiped out and that will seep through the country because if it’s easily accessible in the north, that’s where you’ll try.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/farming-news/suppliers-warn-of-border-trade-issues-if-drugs-require-vet-prescription-42057553.html Suppliers warn of problems with border trade when medicines have to be prescribed by the vet