We stock an extensive range of Special Import Products. These all require a valid Special Import Certificate – SIC – to enable us to supply the product to our client (registered UK veterinary surgeons only). This is easily applied for using the online VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate) Special Import Scheme Home Page.
All our registered veterinary surgeons are reminded that the prescribing vet is personally responsible for the choice of product and, as part of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons, must obtain the owner’s consent for their animal to be treated under the cascade. They must also maintain accurate records.
Food-Producing Animals – Setting withdrawal periods
A withdrawal period is the length of time that must lapse between the final administration of the medicine and the point the animal can be slaughtered to enter the food chain or when produce is taken.
The prescribing vet is required to specify an appropriate withdrawal period when prescribing or administering a medicine to food-producing animals under the cascade. When setting the withdrawal period, the vet must take into account known information about the use of the product on the authorised species when prescribing for another species.
If a product is used as authorised, for example, use of an imported product from another member state, the authorised withdrawal period should be followed.
Where the product is not used as authorised, for example, when a higher dose is used, or a species for which the product is not indicated is treated, then care needs to be taken to ensure that a suitable withdrawal period is set. This ensures that no residues of veterinary medicines above the maximum residue limit remain at the time of slaughter or when produce is taken.
The minimum statutory withdrawal periods are:
- 7 days for eggs and milk
- 28 days for meat from poultry and mammals
- 500 degree days for fish meat
However, in cases where the authorised withdrawal periods are close to, or longer than, the ‘statutory minimum’ withdrawal periods, the vet should consider other factors when setting a suitable withdrawal period. Factors to consider include:
- The length of the authorised withdrawal period(s)
- The known pharmacokinetics of the active substance(s) in both the authorised species and the species being treated (if different)
The vet could, for example, increase the authorised withdrawal period by 50% (where a 30 day withdrawal period is authorised in cattle (meat and offal), a 45 day withdrawal period might be suitable for goats). If a higher dose is given, then a longer period may be warranted.
(Please see the VMD website for full details on prescribing.)