EU Legislation Threatens Animal Welfare Jan 02

The EU bureaucrats wish to make it more expensive and more difficult for us to maintain the health and welfare of our animals. As a pharmacist with over 30 years of experience, I can confirm that Britain already has very stringent laws that regulate the distribution of veterinary medicines. The Pharmacy & Merchant's List (PML) medicines cover veterinary products such as wormers, dips, vaccines and external parasite treatments. These medicines are available from Agricultural Merchants who employ Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) holding AMTRA registration, authorising them to hold and dispense such medicines. This allows most of us with pets, and farmers with livestock, ready access to common medicines used in the treatment of minor infections. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain endorse the current legislation and practice of distribution of veterinary medicines.


On 18th July 2001, the European Commission adopted proposals for changes in the regulation of animal medicines in the EU. The final legal text containing these proposals was submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council on 28th November 2001. Under the proposed change of Article 67, all animal medicines for farm livestock and horses would become Prescription Only Medicines (POM) and, as such, would be available only under a veterinary prescription. This would require all of us to see a veterinary surgeon to secure a prescription for a wormer for our dogs, cats and horses. Such a visit to a vet may cost around 40 and we would have to pay for the wormer on top. Farmers who are already suffering from the huge costs from loss of animals because of Foot and Mouth Disease would have to pay substantial new charges to vets each time they require medicines to treat their animals.


We have been buying animal medicines under professional supervision from Agricultural Merchants for decades. The system has worked very well to protect the health of our animals in a very cost-effective way. Why should we succumb to the whims of faithless bureaucrats in Brussels who seem to have nothing better to do than to create useless legislation that interferes with well-established, successful distribution systems that we have in Britain? If the Continentals don't have a distribution system like ours then let them adopt our system! There are 3500 SQPs working in Agricultural Merchant outlets throughout the UK, especially in rural areas. They would all lose their jobs. All farmers keeping livestock, all those who have pets and many rural businesses will all incur unnecessary costs.


I shall do my best to fight and reject this idiotic legislative proposal from the European Commission!