Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (1025)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

1025. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the sale of cattle dosing products will not be taken off the agricultural merchants; and if he has estimated the economic damage to agricultural merchants of this proposed step in terms of jobs and turnover. [8654/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

All stakeholders, including Licenced Merchants, who are currently permitted to sell veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) under national legislation, such as cattle dosing products, will continue to be able to sell such VMPs following the new veterinary medicines Regulation coming into effect in January 2022. The Regulation does not stop this route of sale. However, from January 2022 antiparasitic VMPs will require a veterinary prescription before they can be sold.

Several stakeholders, including Licenced Merchants, have raised concerns about the potential impact of this change in regulation. To address this, my Department has established an Antiparasitic Resistance Stakeholder Group which is chaired by the Chief Veterinary Officer. This group has an extensive work programme and its considerations are being guided by two principal objectives

- Protecting the efficacy of antiparasitics which are critical to the Irish pasture-based production model.

- Establishing a regulatory system that is pragmatic, retains a substantive role for existing stakeholders and delivers value for money for farmers

My Department as part of the Antiparasitic Stakeholder Group has committed to conducting a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the EU Regulation which is underway. This process essentially addresses the same issues that an economic impact assessment would. The RIA will focus on areas where Ireland has national discretion with regards transposing the Regulation and specifically where intended policy decisions may impact stakeholders. The Assessment cannot be finalised until the relevant policy options have been examined which will be informed by stakeholder consultations.