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Pet Medicines

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what investigation he has undertaken of unlicensed and counterfeit pet medicines advertised on the internet. (97597)

Responsibility for the enforcement of unauthorised and counterfeit pet medicines rests with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), one of Defra's agencies.

The internet is one route through which authorised veterinary medicines can be sold legally.

Reports of websites selling veterinary medicines illegally are investigated. Those UK based websites which do not change their practices may be subject to prosecution. The UK has no jurisdiction in other countries. For websites based outside the UK and selling veterinary medicines illegally in the UK, the VMD contacts the authorities in the country of origin to try to get the websites’ illegal operations in the UK stopped.

The sale of veterinary medicinal products in the UK is controlled by the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2006. These make it an offence to import, be in the possession of or administer unauthorised veterinary medicinal products. Therefore, UK customers dealing with these sites are committing offences under UK law and may have their purchases seized and be liable to prosecution.