In the guide
This guidance is for Wales
If you are the keeper of food-producing animals or treating farm animals intended for human consumption, you must keep a record of the proof of purchase of all veterinary medicines bought for those animals. A record of all veterinary medicines administered to such animals must also be kept.
If you did not buy the veterinary medicines, documentary evidence of how you acquired them, and a record of any veterinary medicinal product you give to or treat any food-producing animals with is still needed.
Records must be kept for five years.?
Animals may be sent for slaughter only after the end of the withdrawal period.
There are three reasons for keeping and retaining veterinary medicine records:
If you are the keeper of food-producing animals intended for human consumption, you are required to keep proof of purchase for all veterinary medicinal products bought for those animals. If you did not buy the veterinary products yourself, you must keep documentary evidence to show how you acquired them. Any veterinary medicine purchase records must be kept for five years from the date of purchase.
A format for the keeping of these records is set out on the attached record keeping document.
A record must also be maintained at the time of administration of any veterinary medicinal treatment given to animals that are bred or kept for the production of food, wool, skin or other farming purposes.
Any person required to keep a veterinary medicines administration record must retain that record for a period of five years following the administration or other disposal of the product.
Animals can only be sent to slaughter after the withdrawal period of the veterinary medicinal product administered has ended.
If a veterinary surgeon administers a veterinary medicinal product to a food-producing animal, they must either enter the information below in the keeper's records or give it to the keeper in writing (in which case the keeper must enter the details required in their records):
A keeper who disposes of any or all of the veterinary medicinal products other than by treating an animal must record:
Most veterinary practices will safely dispose of any unused or expired veterinary medicinal products upon request.
European Union legislation defines the horse as a food-producing species. Therefore keepers are required to maintain a record of any transactions involving the purchase or acquisition and administration of veterinary medicinal products for horses unless the specific animal has been declared as not intended for human consumption in the equine identification document. The equine identification document is more commonly known as a horse passport. The record must be kept within the passport.
Further information on horse medicines and record keeping requirements (opens in a new window) can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Records of products administered to a food-producing animal under the cascade must also be kept. The cascade provides a legal mechanism allowing veterinary surgeons to use their clinical judgement to prescribe a suitable medicine where no authorised medicine exists (more information on the cascade and prescribing unauthorised medicines (opens in a new window) is available on the GOV.UK website).
A veterinary surgeon administering a veterinary medicinal product to food-producing animals under the cascade or permitting another person to administer it under the vet's responsibility must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, record the:
The veterinary surgeon must keep the record for at least five years.
An officer of any local authority who has entered premises exercising any statutory power of entry for the purposes of enforcing any legislation relating to food hygiene, feed hygiene or animal health, may inspect any records made under these Regulations (in whatever form they are held) relating to food-producing animals, and may remove them to enable them to be copied.
It is an offence to:
If you commit an offence the maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
Last reviewed / updated: October 2016
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.
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