The Irish Farmers' Association has said that the implementation of veterinary medicine changes will require further discussion to resolve competitive supply concerns
FREMONT, CA: To address competitive supply problems for anti-parasitic products, the IFA animal health chair stressed that engagement with stakeholders is required. According to the Irish Farmers' Association, there has been "no real progress" since the veterinary medicine laws were postponed.
During a recent anti-parasitic resistance stakeholder meeting IFA animal health chair remarked that to keep up the competitive supply of veterinary medications for farmers, a lot has to be done yet. The Agricultural Minister has offered a window of opportunity by postponing implementation of this component of the new EU veterinary medication laws until June.
Experts are also of the opinion that this action will get even more futile unless a meaningful engagement takes place with the key stakeholders. Besides, active involvement must be ensured in the process of licensed merchants, co-ops and veterinary pharmacies. One service provider is given complete control to provide a significant advantage at the expense of licensed merchants, co-ops and veterinary pharmacies which in turn is likely to reduce competition for the farmers.
The National Veterinary Prescribing System is primarily designed to meet the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine obligations in the new regulation to collect data on antimicrobial usage. It is likely to require a significant amount of testing and enhancements, including the ability to prescribe based on active ingredients to maximise the opportunity for competitive product purchasing.
However, this new system also possesses some farmer data concerns. The report also observes that unless substantial modifications are made to the proposed Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) funds that would be given to vets for parasite prevention on-farm visits, there would only be one benefit to farmers. Though farmers favour the focused and more appropriate use of all medications, a solution to the competitive supply concerns must be found. The anti-parasitic resistance stakeholder group has yet to fulfil its crucial role in the new EU veterinary drugs law.