Permanent solution needed soon to ensure NI veterinary medicines access, NOAH tells House of Lords Enquiry
21st January 2024
Donal Murphy, NOAH’s deputy CEO and head of International and Regulatory Affairs, along with Edward Ferguson, (Zoetis) chair of the association’s Technical and Strategic Affairs Committee have reiterated the urgent need for a permanent solution to the supply of veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland, which stands to be severely impacted due to the Northern Ireland Protocol. This would impact the health and welfare of Northern Ireland’s farm livestock and pets, as well as public health, food production in NI and the environment.
This came as they gave evidence to the House of Lords European Affairs Select Committee Windsor Framework Sub-Committee on 17 January 2024, for its inquiry into the Windsor Framework and continued access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland.
As things stand, once current arrangements end in December 2025, up to 40-50% licensed products could disappear from the NI market, with reductions in both products available, and the choice of sizes for product lines.
“As veterinary medicines are so highly regulated, and our sector is so small, at only 2-3% of the human medicines industry, to become compliant before December 2025 represents a huge administrative burden, and in many cases may not be financially viable,” explained Donal Murphy.
The human medicines sector faced similar issues, and for them, a solution was found, that satisfied both UK and EU. Veterinary medicines, however, were not included in this. NOAH asks that a similar solution for veterinary medicines is found.
This would mean that the negative impact on the animal health and welfare of farm livestock and pets in NI, and consequent effect on public health, that the loss of prevention and treatment options will cause, could be avoided.
The full session can be found here.