Following the publication of the Government’s no deal planning, the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has highlighted that the majority of veterinary medicines used in the UK (including the ingredients and components needed to make them) are either produced in or enter via the EU.
The industry has been working closely with regulators, and has responded very well to concerns about supply, with detailed planning measures for all EU Exit scenarios including no deal.
Dawn Howard, NOAH’s chief executive, said these plans have involved a great deal of work and cover all aspects of supply chains from regulatory compliance and stocking levels to logistics and customs. They also include, as appropriate, increasing stocks of products in the UK, changing supply routes, transferring marketing authorisations and other regulatory processes.
However, in a no-deal situation there are also broader issues that could impact on availability of veterinary medicines.
For example, there are temperature sensitive vaccines which have to be maintained in certain conditions. If transport is delayed and they are stuck on a lorry for hours with no power supply, those vaccines could become completely useless, and the consignment lost.
Ms Howard said: “This disruption does represent a potential risk to controlling disease and an animal welfare issue. If preventative medicines such as vaccines are not available, there is a greater risk of disease in the population. This could increase the risk of its spread, including the spread of zoonotic infections. Animals that have not been protected may be at risk.
“To reduce this risk to medicines availability in the UK, detailed planning continues.”