The bills which will establish a national food ombudsman and new veterinary medicine rules are two priority bills for Government to progress this spring, Government has announced.

They are contained in the legislative programme which contains 44 bills for publication by ministers in the spring Oireachtas session.

Preparatory work is “under way” on the agriculture and food supply chain (market transparency) bill. This is the bill which will establish the new national food ombudsman authority.

The ombudsman will enforce the unfair trading practices (UTP) directive and have a specific role in analysing and reporting on price and market data in Ireland.

The second bill which is a priority is the animal remedies (amendment) bill. This bill will provide the necessary principles and policies to enable the Minister for Agriculture to make regulations governing the sale of veterinary medicinal products.

As has been reported by the Irish Farmers Journal, it will also impose a mandatory requirement on those issuing prescriptions for veterinary medicinal products to use an electronic prescription system.

Fertiliser register

Another bill Government will be looking at this spring is the manufacture, sale and use of fertiliser bill.

This bill will make provisions for the control of the manufacture and sale of fertiliser products and this includes the provision for market surveillance measures.

For farmers, it allows the collection of information on fertiliser sales at point of retail at individual farm level.