IFA National Animal Health Chair TJ Maher said it is important all stakeholders in the prescribing and supply chain of antiparasitic products have an active role in ensuring farmers continue to be facilitated in competitively sourcing these products.
Drafting of the SI is ongoing and this will determine, amongst other key issues for farmers, the prescribing process for antiparasitic products.
TJ Maher said as farmers we fully support the appropriate and targeted use of these products on our farms, access to these when needed cannot be impeded by unnecessary constraints on prescribers or suppliers of these products that diminishes competition or adds costs.
The IFA National Animal Health Chair said what is critical to achieve in this process is that there is a consistency of the right advice and information from all actors in the chain to all cattle and sheep farmers. This message cannot be diluted or tailored based on economic interests of any of the service providers be they veterinary practitioners or licensed merchants.
He said key issues for farmers deciding on parasite control strategies is firstly to identify if there is a need for treatment.
If there is then it is important the correct product is used with emphasis on identifying resistance and also considering withdrawal periods for the product dependant on the category of animal and sales plans for those animals.
When treating animals, the correct dose rates are critically important as this can extend withdrawal periods.
TJ Maher said where animals are close to slaughter the actual benefits of any treatment should be considered as the costs most likely would outweigh any performance benefits.
The IFA National Animal Health Chair said the construct of the SI is important to ensure all actors in the chain are delivering the correct and most beneficial message for farmers in on farm parasite control.