Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 14 June, 2005
Written Answers. - EU Directives.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
559. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if she will not sign the EU directive on veterinary medicine (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19854/05]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan:The directive referred to by the Deputy is Directive 2004/28, which resulted from a review of the EU veterinary medicine regime. This directive entered into force with its publication on 30 April 2004 and member states are obliged to transpose it into national law by 30 October 2005.
My Department is currently engaged in drafting legislation to transpose this directive, which includes a general provision that all veterinary medicines for food producing animals should be brought under veterinary prescription control. Arising from difficulties expressed during the negotiations of the EU measure by Ireland and a small number of other member states, an exemption clause was included in the directive to provide a mechanism for specific categories of medicines to be excluded from the mandatory prescription requirement. Decisions at EU level on exemptions are required to be taken by 1 January 2007, pending which existing national distribution arrangements may remain in place.
I am aware of the concerns which have been expressed about the potential cost implications for farmers of restricting all medicines to veterinary prescription control. However, as I have indicated, final decisions have yet to be taken on this issue and I will endeavour to avail of the exemption mechanism to keep certain medicines, including wormers and certain vaccines, available off prescription. It should be noted that in the interim, farmers will continue to be able to get these products without having to obtain a prescription and, given this situation, the need to extend the range of prescribers to include, for example, pharmacists does not arise at present.
Dáil Éireann 603 Written Answers. EU Directives.