ICSA’s Hugh Farrell: wormer regs will be “devastation to a lot of farmers”

Hugh Farrell is the ICSA chair of the Animal Health & Welfare Committee

The Department of Agriculture is planning to introduce strict regulations on the sale of animal medicines in Ireland. Under the new regulations, farmers will require a veterinary prescription to purchase certain medicines, including the majority of fluke and worm treatments. The Department says these steps are necessary to curb a rising incidence of anthelmintic resistance on Irish farms, but farming groups argue that ordinary farmers will be the big losers if regulations are introduced. This week, Hugh Farrell of the The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) joined Micheál Geoghegan of Agridirect.ie to discuss the issue. You can listen to the full interview below.

Poll result: vast majority of Irish farmers oppose wormer regulations

And the results are in! Here at Agridirect.ie, we asked farmers for their opinion about the Irish Government’s plan to introduce wormer regulations next January. The regulations, which take effect on 28 January 2022, will require farmers to obtain a veterinary prescription to access fluke and worm treatments. Our poll, which went live on this site on 30 July 2021, asked farmers the following question:

Do you support the Irish Government’s plan to introduce stricter regulations on the sale of animal medicines?

Of 104 poll participants, 87.5% oppose regulation, while 8.65% were in favour. A further 3.75% were undecided. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine claims that the regulations are necessary to combat rising anthelminthic resistance on Irish farms.

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Poll: what do you think about the Government’s wormer regulation plans?

The Irish Government plans to introduce new regulations restricting the sale of animal medicines in Ireland. The regulations, which will force farmers to obtain a veterinary prescription before purchasing medicines such as drenches and pour-ons, are due to be introduced on 28 January 2022. The proposal has drawn staunch criticism from farming organisations and retailers. Here at Agridirect.ie, we want to know what farmers on the ground think about this issue. Cast your vote by clicking below, and feel free to share your comments too!

What price will we pay? The strong case against wormer regulation

Agridirect.ie argues against the Government’s proposal to make animal medicines subject to veterinary prescription, and discusses the reasonable alternatives set forth by the Independent Licensed Merchants Association (ILMA).

One more thing to worry about?

It will kill scores of jobs in rural Ireland and change the course of Irish farming, but very few in farming circles are talking about the Government’s plan to impose strict new regulations on the sale of animal medicines next year. This lack of interest is surprising since these regulations, if introduced as planned, will have woeful financial consequences for small farmers.   

To be fair to Irish farmers, it’s easy to understand how this issue has escaped their notice. They’ve had a lot to contend with in the political arena over the last few years. Farmers are set to take a hit from the Government’s new Climate Bill, while the plan for an EU/Mercosur Trade Deal that would flood the European market with Brazilian beef is still alive. That said, with only 5 months to go before the new wormer regulations are imposed, we can’t ignore this issue anymore.

Continue reading “What price will we pay? The strong case against wormer regulation”