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Farmers Urged To Voice Concerns On Cost Of Animal Medicines

The NFU is urging individual farmers to contact the Competition Commission with their views about the cost of veterinary medicines.

The Competition Commission is currently carrying out an investigation into whether the market for prescription-only animal medicines in the UK acts against the interests of consumers.

NFU Technical Services Chairman Marcus Themans and Animal Health and Welfare Chairman Neil Cutler both attended the first public session of the inquiry in London on Friday (26 April).

The session, which heard that prices in the UK are 50% higher than in France and Holland, urged individual farmers and pet owners to come forward with evidence about the problem.

Mr Themans said: "The NFU has long held concerns on how much dispensed medicines cost. We have argued that there should be more transparency about the way prices are reached. It is vital that as many farmers as possible add their own experiences to the investigation so we can address the issue. "

Mr Cutler said: "The availability of animal medicines is vital to farmers to enable them to care properly for stock. But with the industry in such a dire economic state, the cost of such medicines is a major worry.

"We are extremely pleased that this investigation is being carried out."

The investigation was launched in October 2001 and is expected to publish its findings next Spring. The NFU gave oral evidence to the inquiry in December.

Farmers should write to The Reference Secretary (Veterinary Medicines), Competition Commission, New Court, 48 Carey Street, London, WC2A 2JT, fill
in the online form on the Competition Commission website or email



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