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Veterinary Medicines

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her European counterparts in relation to the supply of veterinary medicines. [114009]

There are a number of European fora attended by my officials and those of the other Member States at which issues relating to veterinary medicines are discussed and at which issues relating to their supply may be raised. In particular, European Commission proposals to amend medicines legislation, including one to require a prescription for all medicines for use in food-producing animals, are currently being discussed in a series of Council Working Groups. This year the Working Group has met twice each month except February when there was one meeting. My officials are seeking to modify the Commission's proposal to enable a flexible approach to the distribution of veterinary medicinal products that takes advantage of existing national practices, so long as consumer protection and animal welfare can be demonstrably assured.