The Independent Licensed Merchants Association (ILMA) has welcomed the decision by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to defer implementation of veterinary medicine regulations until 1 June 2022.

"[The] ILMA have fought long and hard to get recognition for the role of the responsible persons as a dispenser and adviser and playing a valued role in defeating anti-parasitic resistance, now that lobbying has paid off with proper recognition of ILMA and the role it will play over the next six months," Ian Scott from the ILMA said.

The association has called on the Minister to instruct his Department to re-evaluate all solutions that the ILMA has put forward "in a positive, constructive way and adopt a can-do attitude to find the best solution".

Stiff resistance

Scott said it was clear that the National Veterinary Prescribing System (NVPS) may well be up and working in a limited fashion in February, but faces stiff resistance from users such as vets, as well as overcoming technical, connectivity and privacy issues.

He said the ILMA believes that the deferral should allow time for these issues to be ironed out and allow time for a solution that will give livestock farmers a fair, competitive and professional choice of outlets for their medicines.

This, he said, would be bolstered by independent merchants being fully engaged in addressing anti-parasitic resistance, by working under a new regulator with code of practise to allow for a prescribing and dispensing role from June 2022.