IFA National Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell said the inaction by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed in addressing the issues around the large animal veterinary service in the country, which IFA has raised since 2017, is now exposing some farmers to call out fees of up to €500.
Pat Farrell said the recent change of ownership of one of the veterinary practices in Donegal has seen that company now quoting €500 for an out-of-hours call out. IFA has again called on the Minister to expedite the urgent review of large animal veterinary services in the country.
Pat Farrell said since 2017 IFA has highlighted the threat to competitive large animal veterinary services for farmers throughout the country and the need for a review of all components of the service. “The Minister must ensure the structure and supports are in place to provide all farmers with a competitive large animal veterinary service at reasonable charges.”
He said the provision of a competitive large animal veterinary service is a complex issue, with multiple factors impacting on the diminishing service to farmers. This issue can only be addressed by reviewing all components that contribute to the service. These include the pathways to qualification for vets, the obligations set by the Veterinary Council (VCI), the unique nature of the service required by farmers, the demographics of the farm, animal population and the extremely low income of farmers dependent on this service.
Pat Farrell said the Minister for Agriculture and the VCI have a huge role to play in this area and they are jointly failing farmers by their inaction.
He said it is unacceptable for the Minister to stand idly by and allow the situation evolve to where farmers are exposed to the unjustifiable charges being quoted by one veterinary practice in Donegal.