Veterinary medicine products being sold in Ireland should be labelled in Irish and in English, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled.

The case was brought before the EU’s top court on foot of a challenge by Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Conradh na Gaeilge, who said the labelling on veterinary medicines was only provided in English and argued that an EU directive meant the labelling should be in both English and Irish.

In its ruling on St Patrick’s Day, the court ruled that Ireland failed to comply with the EU directive and must take remedial steps to label veterinary medicines in both languages.

This is despite new regulations due to come into force in January 2022, which will make the labelling of these medicines in Irish optional.

However, the CJEU ruled that Ireland was required to transpose the law correctly, regardless of the cost or any future regulations which may render it obsolete.

Legal advice

The Department of Agriculture is going to take legal advice on the ruling.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture told the Irish Farmers Journal: "The Department is currently considering the judgement made yesterday by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UH v An tAire Talmhaíochta Bia agus Mara, Éire and An tArd-Aighne Case C-64/20 and will take legal advice on how next to proceed."