IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell, has strongly rejected the guidance issued by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for vets providing a service to farmers and the issuing of prescriptions.

The IFA Chairman said the guidance is 'a gross interference' with the functioning of a competitive service provision to farmers and is at odds with the clearly set out legislative criteria in relation to the prescribing of veterinary medicines for animals.

"This guidance document is a blatant attempt to stifle competition in the provision of veterinary services, is unacceptable and must be checked by the relevant authorities. Attempting to justify these guidelines in the context of AMR is misleading and ignores the real concern of the vested economic interest of prescribers of antibiotics in the supply of these products."

Mr Farrell concluded by saying it is incumbent on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that farmers are allowed to access a competitive and large animal veterinary service and facilitated in acquiring the relevant expertise for their farm. He said the current guidelines issued by the Veterinary Council grossly interferes with this.