The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to reconsider plans to introduce compulsory prescriptions for routine dosing products for livestock.
Animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell said: “These proposals are akin to taking a sledgehammer to the way farmers take care of the everyday needs of their livestock.
“They are completely over the top and the intervention of Minister McConalogue is now required to sort this out.”
The ICSA insists that farmers are well aware of issues around anthelmintic resistance.
Farrell continued: “The authorities are citing resistance as a reason for a much more draconian regime. This shows a complete lack of respect for the competence of farmers who are delivering excellent care for their stock.
Farmers know the extent of the fluke threat from meat factory examinations of livers
“It would be misleading to think that there is widespread scope to even substantially reduce the need for wormers and flukicides. Farmers know the extent of the fluke threat from meat factory examinations of livers.”
The ICSA has warned that making routine dosing products prescription only is not going to change the fluke challenge on wet farms.
“EU regulation 2019/6 provides for an exemption from prescription control, and this option must be revisited as a matter of urgency,” Farrell said.
“We are calling on the Minister to ensure we do not tie ourselves up in knots when it is clear a more balanced and pragmatic approach is called for.”