A Waterford farmer milking 70 cattle is currently paying €1,000 a year more for veterinary medicine than a Northern Ireland counterpart, the ICSMA has claimed.
Deputy President John Comer said the estimate was based on a direct price comparison that the association hade made between identically-branded products for sale on either side of the border.
Mr Comer, also the Association’s Farm Services Committee Chairman, said that
farmers in the Republic were paying 58 per cent more for the Penstrep antibiotic and 18 per cent more for Closamectin. 
Deosan, considered a standard Teat dip product, came in at 46 per cent more expensive in this jurisdiction. 
“The massive mark-up on veterinary medicines is part of a professional monopoly which the Government is not alone failing to address buts actually supports and condones,” according to Mr Comer.
“One need only look at the ‘closed shop’ arrangement for routine animal testing on farms and inspections at meat factories where vets are given an entirely unnecessary monopoly.”
He continued: “We have pointed out repeatedly to the Government that in the UK – the best possible comparison available to us in these matters – lay technicians are allowed to deliver both these services without any visible deterioration in the standards.
“Why must we persist with a system that charges farmers more for no obvious purpose other than the featherbedding of professionals? It’s time we had some straight answers.”
The price survey involved comparisons with veterinary practices across Republic with similar outlets in Coleraine and Fermanagh with its findings leading to only one conclusion: rip-off.
“The Competition Authority in its report on this matter fully supported the ICMSA line,” said John Comer.
“We must get down the costs of running a farm in Ireland.  Veterinary medicines and costs are out of line with international standards and are imposing penal charges on very, very hard pressed farmers.”