The Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food, and the Marine is to write to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue seeking a two-year delay to any changes to the EU regulation on veterinary medicine products set to come into force in January.

The new rules mean a prescription will be required for all licensed medicines and dosing products before they can be sold to a farmer.

Proposed by Fianna Fáil's Senator Paul Daly and seconded by Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, the committee said it wished to express its continued serious concern around the workings and practicality of the new regulations, especially around potential anti-competitive practices putting licenced merchants at risk of losing significant business and increased costs for farmers.

'Not going to work'

“This is not going to work, it cannot work," Senator Daly said.

"How is the licenced merchant going to compete with a vet who you could ring late on a Friday evening and ask for a prescription?

"The merchants are going to be gone and you don’t only lose somewhere to buy your dose, you lose somewhere to buy your fence posts or battery for your electric fence.

"You are closing rural Ireland here.”


Department officials were able to confirm that there is scope within the legislation to allow vets to issue 12-month prescriptions for anti-parasitics. However, the vet will have to be able to stand over the decision.