Addressing a conference on antimicrobial resistance in Moorepark in Cork today (Mon), IFA Deputy President Tim O’Leary said the use of antibiotics on farms is already heavily regulated, with products only available under veterinary prescription to farmers.
Tim O’Leary said, “As farmers, we have shown that we are responsible end users of all veterinary medicines, including antibiotics. We are prepared to invest in best practice advice and adopt our management practices accordingly; however, we can only continue to operate if the playing field is level”.
He said Irish farmers cannot be expected to compete with imports from countries where less exacting standards apply and they must be protected from the race to the bottom on price by the large retailers.
The IFA Deputy President said legislators must play their part by providing supports to assist in the adoption of structural and management practices that reduce the need for antibiotics which benefits all: “A national policy on anti-microbial resistance cannot simply rely on the regulation of farm practices, it must also delve into human, and small vet practice procedures.”
Tim O’Leary said that farmers will play their part, but if we are really serious about addressing the issue, the major contributors to antimicrobial resistance are not to be found inside the farm gate.