The It’s Your Field Animal Health All Star Awards and The Responsible Persons Graduation 2018 took place at the Clayton Hotel Galway in September . The organising committee ensured the event ran smoothly and to time. This year’s event noted a marked increase in the number of Veterinary practitioners and veterinary nurses attending. Many of these vets had attended the Professional Veterinary Education programme on bovine reproduction and bovine parasitology. The animal health exhibition opened at 2pm.
The exhibitors reported a very busy afternoon. The ever green Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh was the guest of honour and stood in for photographs at all the exhibition stands.
Events co-ordinator Martina Grealish called on the guests (296) to be seated for dinner @5pm. She introduced the speakers of the day who gave short presentations – Michael Coyle of Team LM, Frances MacAodhain, Department of Agriculture Food and Marine and Dr Gabriel Beechinor, Director of Veterinary Services, HPRA.
Michael Coyle welcomed all the Responsible persons to the event. He paid tribute to the dedication of the graduates in achieving their QQI qualification telling them “Be proud of your achievement you have an important role to play within your organisation”.
Focusing on food production Michael informed the attendees that Ireland have an unrivalled reputation for food production. “We export 85% of all the food we produce. It’s a team effort from research and development to the farmer, all with a common goal of producing quality food for our consumers”.
He referred to the activities which were carried out during the training, including on farm visits so the responsible person would have a thorough understanding of how to advise on correct administration of product “Animal Health is not sold in a vial or flexipack” he told the audience. “We should be looking at other ways of preventing disease such as biosecurity, vaccination programme, nutrition and the environment the animals housed in”.
In directly addressing the new graduates Michael advised them to have a referral policy in place where the Veterinary Practitioner advice and expertise is required.
Michael went onto say “the Veterinary profession in Ireland provide a wonderful service 24-7 . They are the custodians of animal health and food security”
In welcoming the Animal All Star Nominees he paid tribute to each and every one of them for the role they play in animal health “whether you are from academia, bio science, research and development, a veterinary practitioner, a store manager, a responsible person or a veterinary nurse you are all here on merit because someone thought enough about you and what you do to nominate you”
Michael made special reference to the judging panel “who had to make difficult decisions in the selection process”. He concluded by stating that “healthy people, healthy animals and healthy environment are all inextricably linked – one health, we all have a role”.
Frances MacAodhain from the Veterinary Medicine section of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine spoke about the challenges and opportunities the new EU regulations would bring. Frances highlighted the importance of the agri food sector and the strong international reputation we have attained over the years. “The Responsible Persons forms an essential link in the food safety chain as it will be you who will be providing the advice to farmers on a day to day basis on the responsible use of medicines” she said. Frances congratulated all of the Animal health All Star Awards 2018 nominees “I welcome these awards as a way to recognise excellence and dedication” she enthused.
Frances informed the audience that the new EU regulation on Veterinary medicinal products would come into effect in 2021 “the legislation provides for member states to implement the rules via national provisions or derogations in a number of areas and these provide a unique opportunity for Ireland to tailor the medicine legislation in a way that best suits our market conditions. Of particular interest to the audience was Frances’s update on internet sales” The new proposals has an entire article devoted to internet retailing. All online retailers will be required to display a common EU logo which will assist consumers in identifying legitimate suppliers “.Frances informed the audience that “wholesalers will now require a responsible person as for the new EU regulations”. There will be a public consultation on the various policy options next year. “I would urge everyone here to make a submission as part of the consultation “. In conclusion Frances wished all the responsible persons and All Star nominees every success “and congratulation to each and everyone here today”.
Dr Gabriel Beechinor, Director of Veterinary Sciences Health Products Regulatory Authority began by saying “Award ceremonies are recognition of achievement and a time for celebration. I am delighted to be associated with the event, ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the common good. Congratulations to Michael Coyle and his team for organising this event and congratulations to the graduates and award recipients”. Gabriel highlighted the importance of “Knowing the reliability of the source and the accuracy of the information on offer “. Dr Beechinor told the responsible persons that “farmers and clients purchasing veterinary medicines from you wold expect you to deliver the most up-to-date information to them”. He went on to say that by helping others to succeed you can help yourself to succeed. “Some of the long established practices for worming are now being queried on the basis of new scientific evidence. The blanket use of dry cow antibiotic therapy is no longer viewed by experts as best practice, particularly in the face of growing concerns around antibiotic resistance”.
Dr Beechinor made reference to the significant challenges Brexit will pose “for food exports, availability of veterinary medicines and future joint labelling initiative with the UK on veterinary medicinal products.
In conclusion he wished everyone an enjoyable evening and has some final words of wisdom:-
- Listen attentively
- Be open to new ideas
- Thirst for knowledge
- Visit www.hpra.ie
After dinner Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh came to the microphone “This is better than a wedding, with the style here today a beautiful solid meal and all the goods on display. Better it is getting every year”. Micheál in his speech told the audience that change was something to embrace not to be feared. He made reference to a Kilkenny hurler that played in Croke Park in 1904 and got a drink of water “at the tap at the back of the dressing rooms. Look at the change that has happened there, change is usually for the better so long as it is not forced on a person”.
“I have heard the previous speakers and all I can do is say well done to one and all here this evening, you are all part of a big team each one playing their part”
Micheál went on to explain that no matter how good you are at doing something “the mark of a great is to aspire to a higher level. Challenge yourself, there is always another level”. He emphasised the value of education how even the experts continue to improve themselves.
“Recommendations that were regarded as scientifically sound forty or fifty years ago such as “dose and move on or blanket cow therapy” are no longer recommended – now that is change not a failing. Micheál said as scientists and researchers explore new theories that improve animal health you need to embrace this change and be aware of it. He went on to quote George Bernard Shaw “ a succession of eye openers each involving the repudiation of some previously held belief”.
We are here this evening to recognise you and your achievements. We are here to celebrate all that is good in the animal health industry. You are all winners here this evening “agus bo mbeidh muid beo ar an am seo arís”.