GOVT CHALLENGE OF
EU VETERINARY MEDICINE PROPOSALS IS GOOD NEWS
The NFU has welcomed
the fact that the Government is to challenge European
Commission proposals that all farm animal medicines should be prescribed
The NFU is already
lobbying against the plans, which it fears could
compromise the protection of animal health by preventing farmers having
access to vital over-the-counter medicines.
It could also lead
to an increase in the price of veterinary medicines
because prescription-only products include additional charges levied by
NFU Animal Health
and Welfare Committee Chairman Neil Cutler said: "Farmers
have bought some animal medicines from professional dispensers without
need for a prescription for many years. This long-established system has
worked extremely well.
of certain drugs for the treatment of common ailments is
extremely important - and that applies to animals as well as humans.
"The EU's proposals
will also undoubtedly push up costs, which livestock
farmers can ill afford after yet another dire year. It is good news that
DEFRA agrees with us and is seeking to modify the plans to ensure that
tried and tested route remains available."
Lord Whitty told
the House of Lords last week of the Government's intention
to challenge the proposal, which is part of a wider Directive to standardise
European veterinary and human medicine prescription. It could be some
before the legislation is adopted in Brussels as it will have to pass
through both the Parliament and the Council.