ICSA animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell has expressed his frustration at the consultation process regarding Department of Agriculture proposals to restrict the availability of anti-parasitic doses.

This is a serious threat which will potentially destroy competition for basic anti-parasitic products such as wormers, he said.

“After 20 months of intense lobbying activity by merchants, pharmacists, farming associations and politicians, to avoid burdening livestock farmers with extra costs of securing a veterinary prescription each time they need to buy dosing products.

“This places the vet in a powerful monopoly position to charge for prescribing, dictating the medicine brand to be used and being on the spot to sell the medicine first hand and cut out the independent merchants and co-op stores.”

Stakeholders on Wednesday, including IFA, ICOS, and ILMA, called for an urgent meeting with the Minister for Agriculture to discuss the impasse.

Changes to the existing legislation are due to be introduced in January 2022.