The Department of Agriculture has rejected a legal opinion which would have allowed ‘responsible persons’ with co-ops to authorise the sale of anti-parastics.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the opinion, tabled last week, would have enabled Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to amend legislation and recognise such individuals, something the industry says is required to prevent a monopoly by vets and to protect rural jobs.

Fianna Fáil inisiders said Minister McConalogue was reluctant to make the required changes to the legislation, regardless of legal opinions shared with him.