Wording of EU vet medicines proposal ‘could jeopardise animal health’

The wording of the proposed EU legislation on vet medicines is “too vague and could jeopardize the health and welfare of animals and people”, the FVE says.

While the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) welcomed the proposal it says the text – “A veterinary prescription shall only be issued by a person qualified to do so in accordance with applicable national law” – is too vague.

The FVE calls for all legislators to take the responsibility to propose an explicit legislative framework by requiring that “a veterinary prescription shall only be issued by a veterinarian.”

The FVE says that the prescription is the decisive and critical step before using medicinal products and it follows the examination of the animal(s), the evaluation of the conditions where under they live, and the diagnosis made.

Prescriptions can only be made by the person under whose care the animals are and incorrect prescriptions go hand in hand with misuse and overuse of medicinal products, it says.

According to the FVE this can endanger the health and welfare of animals. It can also enhance the occurrence and spread of resistance against antimicrobials and anti-parasitic medicines, it says.

At this moment, 27 EU Member States allow only veterinarians to prescribe, it says.

In all 28 Member States only veterinarians can prescribe antibiotics, controlled drugs (e.g. sedatives) and other medicines with risk to animal and public health, the FVE says.

The vague wording in the legislative proposal leaves the door open for persons who are insufficiently trained and not regulated and licensed to make a prescription, it says.

The FVE says that this creates a risk for an increase in the misuse and overuse use of antimicrobials and consequently in the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance.

Additionally, it says this regulation has to be consistent with other pieces of EU legislation.

The new Animal Health Law, clearly defines the role of the veterinarian in raising awareness of antimicrobial resistance and in advising animal owners with regards to prudent and responsible use of medicines, it says.

The obligatory animal health visits by a veterinarian are part of this strategy, it says.

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