IFA Chairman for Animal Health, TJ Maher, has said more farmers must be encouraged to participate in the Parasite Control TASAH (Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health) initiative.
TASAH includes a veterinary farm visit and two faecal egg counts and is open to all cattle and sheep farms. Funding is available for up to 40,000 farmers, however Mr. Maher says the initiative should be expanded to reward farmers taking part.
“The TASAH has the potential to ensure better on-farm parasite control, but farmers must be rewarded and supported directly by Department of Agriculture for taking part in the TASAH. Direct financial support to farmers implementing the TASAH is a key aspect to increase the value for farmers and ultimately drive participation and uptake,” TJ Maher said.
“A competitive supply chain is also important for farmers. The National Veterinary Prescription System and TASAH in their current formats do not resolve the competitive supply concerns for anti-parasitic products”.
The IFA Animal Health Chair said that the additional time granted by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s decision to defer implementation of the prescribing requirement for anti-parasitic products is running out fast.
“The deadline of June 1st is approaching and without meaningful engagement by DAFM with all stakeholders, farmers will be left without access to a competitive supply chain,” he said.
TJ Maher said that IFA fully support the targeted use of all veterinary medicines, but the critical role played by veterinary pharmacies and license merchants must be recognised and facilitated in the Parasite Control TASAH.