THE highly respected trainers Gavin Cromwell and Matthew Smith are hoping the Department of Agriculture will take action to ensure that they can continue directly purchasing wormers from equine supply stores, such as Thoroughbred Remedies Ireland (TRI) on the Curragh.
Under proposed EU regulations, from January 2022 horse owners will require a prescription to purchase equine anthelmintics (wormers). The Irish Licensed Merchants Association [ILMA] is lobbying the Government to allow trained staff (‘Responsible Persons’) to issue the prescription and dispense the wormers to customers.
Gavin Cromwell said: “Our veterinary surgeon devised a worming programme for our yard and we follow it closely. We frequently send samples to the Irish Equine Centre, so they can perform a faecal egg count.
“More often than not, the results tell us not to use a wormer. And when we do need to worm, I go to TRI where I can have a discussion with the staff on which wormer to use each time.”
Matthew Smith added: “I follow a three-year worming programme designed for me by one of the country’s leading equine veterinary practices. It involves using different worming brands and I find it very convenient to be able to buy these from TRI or my local merchant.
“It would be a lot of extra hassle if I had to get a prescription each time.”
Ian Scott is secretary general of the ILMA and he is also a horse owner, breeder and international equestrian commentator. Based in Northamptonshire, he explained how British horse owners are able to execute their own worming programme without veterinary prescriptions.
“My two-year-old homebred filly lives on a 10-horse DIY livery yard in the nearby village of Nassington,” he said.
“We all do a worm egg count test four times a year, at the same time, costing £7, and get the results back from the commercial laboratory the following day.
“We speak to the Specially Qualified Professional (SQP) at the lab for advice if the count comes back over 200 eggs per gramme. If the result is over 200 we purchase a wormer from the local merchants and agree which one to use with the SQP at the counter,” Ian continued.
“We will worm at least once every autumn using a brand approved for tapeworm and encysted redworm, as these require separate tests. The vet is not involved at any stage and the wormers are competitively priced.
“If worming is needed then horses are all wormed at the same time and fields are picked clean of manure at least every other day.”
Web: Search my.uplift.ie to sign a petition asking the Government to allow local merchants and pharmacists to prescribe wormers.