Department confirms delay to new vet meds rules

Department confirms delay to new vet meds rules

The department said it will announce an implementation date once the legislative process is finalised.

New rules requiring a veterinary prescription to dispense anti-parasitic medicines and the introduction of mandatory electronic prescriptions which were scheduled to take effect from December 1 will be delayed indefinitely, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

It follows reports in the  Irish Examiner reporting that a legal submission from industry bodies could stall the new rules from being implemented in only a week's time. 

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had told the Irish Examiner in recent days that it was awaiting legal advice from the Attorney General in respect of a recent joint legal submission from the Independent Licensed Merchants Association (ILMA) and ICOS.

It is understood the legal argument relates to legal recognition for responsible persons, and seeks changes to the law to allow them to prescribe veterinary medicines. 

It would mean that anyone who has completed training to sell or supply the products, who are deemed responsible persons, would be able to prescribe anti-parasitics.

In a statement late this afternoon, the department said an extension is in place for the current deferral of the requirements until the legislative process in the Oireachtas regarding the Veterinary Medicinal Products, Medicated Feed and Fertilisers Regulation Bill has been completed. 

The department said it will announce an implementation date once the legislative process is finalised.

This confirmation is welcomed by industry, with Ollie Ryan of the Independent Licensed Merchants Association telling the Irish Examiner that merchants and stakeholders would welcome a deferral of the regulations until all issues are resolved.

All other prescribing rules, aside from those that were due to be put in place from December 1, have been in force since January 28 this year.

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