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Livestock: Antibiotics

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 11901, tabled on 14 October 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to limit the use of antibiotics on farms to sick animals.

Answered on

21 October 2015

There are no plans to significantly revise the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 until the conclusion of the current review of the EU legislative framework on veterinary medicines and medicated feedingstuffs.

The Government has reissued guidance on the responsible use of animal medicines on the farm to emphasise that we do not support the routine preventative use of antibiotics, or the use of antibiotics to compensate for poor animal husbandry.

Under the current UK legislation, all antibiotic veterinary medicines are only available through a prescription from a veterinary surgeon, who in turn can only prescribe to animals under their care following a clinical diagnosis. Using antibiotics responsibly is a requirement of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Professional Conduct for Vets.