The blanket treating of animals with antibiotics will no longer be allowed under new EU vet medicine rules which come into force in January 2022.

The president of Veterinary Ireland Conor Geraghty has said that the rules will mean farmers and vets will not be able to rely on antibiotics as a preventative measure. They’ll only be allowed to use them on sick animals.

“It applies to blanket treating animals bought in in case they get pneumonia, it applies to using CTC powder for calves that might get a cough, the blanket treatment for watery mouths in lambs at birth - all these practices will no longer be allowed,” he said.


He said that there could be possible restrictions on using critically important antibiotics.

“We may not have access to all of them, as the agri-food sector. There’ll certainly be restrictions on them and may be a requirement on vets to have evidence that they are the only prudent thing to prescribe in certain cases.

“So in other words that you would not be allowed to use them without a cultural sensitivity test first to say that these are the only ones you can use,” he said.


With regard to antiparasitics, Geraghty said the big change for Ireland is that they will still be available in co-ops, licensed merchants and pharmacists and vets, but “they will only be able to be dispensed on foot of a veterinary prescription”.