Minister announces extension of transition period for the requirement of a veterinary prescription for anti-parasitic medicines and the introduction of mandatory electronic prescriptions
Published on: 13 May 2022
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Charlie McConalogue TD, has today announced an extension of the transition period for the requirement of a veterinary prescription to dispense anti-parasitic medicines, and the introduction of mandatory electronic prescriptions.
Acknowledging stakeholder concerns arising from recent unexpected developments at global and national level, Minister McConalogue said: “I have listened to our stakeholders and understand that while they are working closely with us to ensure the best possible systems are introduced, some unexpected challenges have arisen. We are advised that companies are experiencing supply chain challenges attributable to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, and we acknowledge that to ensure the best possible National Veterinary Prescribing System, the software developers need more time to ensure a seamless transition for farmers, veterinary practitioners, licenced merchants and feed suppliers. The transition period will end on 1 December 2022, which I believe gives sufficient time for such unexpected challenges to be addressed”.
The Minister confirmed that the Veterinary Medicinal Products, Medicated Feeds and Fertilisers Regulation Bill 2022 will be put before Cabinet shortly.
Understanding the impact that these new regulations will have on all stakeholders in the agri-food sector and appreciating the significant and positive engagement his Department has had with all stakeholders through the Anti-parasitic Stakeholder Group, Minister McConalogue said: “Stakeholders have shown real commitment to ensuring we implement these changes that will help farmers tackle antiparasitic and antimicrobial resistance, resulting in long-term positive outcomes for human and animal health, and improving the agri-food sector’s efficiency and productivity”.
Minister McConalogue added that this additional time will allow further refinement in the development of the National Veterinary Prescription System (NVPS).
“My officials and IT developers are already working with users and providers, and I am thankful for their constructive feedback. My team and the IT developers will use this additional time to fine tune and further enhance the NVPS, resulting in a dynamic application which users can interact with either as a standalone system or through integration with other software products”.
Minister McConalogue also welcomed the engagement by both private veterinary practitioners and farmers in the recently launched Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) programme specifically focussed on parasite control on farms and provided at no cost to farmers.
“I am very much encouraged by the uptake so far in the new Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) programme specifically focussed on parasite control which I recently launched. This clearly shows the appetite by farmers and their veterinary practitioners to tackle the challenge of anti-parasitic resistance. By getting their anti-parasitic treatment plan right, farmers can reduce resistance, improve their animals’ health and welfare, while also improving their productivity and profitability.”
Concluding, the Minister showed his appreciation of the efforts of all stakeholders in combatting anti-parasitic resistance: “I know that all stakeholders, the pharmaceutical industry, vets, farmers, and licensed merchants all understand the importance of effectively tackling the problem of anti-parasitic resistance. The introduction of these new regulations, the NVPS and the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH) programme on parasite control will provide everyone with the effective tools needed to combat anti-parasitic resistance and ensure the health and welfare of our livestock into the future.”