A LEGAL opinion from the Attorney General, Paul Gallagher SC, has torpedoed plans for a controversial new regime to control the sale of animal health medicines.

Proposals that merchant staff deemed to be ‘Responsible Persons’ might be allow to prescribe certain veterinary medicines such as doses and wormers were not supported by the Attorney General, as reported in the Irish Farmers Journal this week.

As a consequence of the legal opinion, the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, has accepted that the veterinary Medicinal Products Medicated Feed and Fertilisers Regulations Bill will not make it through the Dáil.

Last week, the Department announced an extension of the transition period for the implementation of a requirement for a veterinary prescription to dispense anti-parasitic medicines and the introduction of mandatory electronic prescriptions which was scheduled for December 1st. However, the intervention of the Attorney General has now left the legislative process in limbo.