Sue has sought assurances from the Government’s animal welfare minister, David Rutley MP, on the future of veterinary medicines after Britain leaves the European Union.
During the parliamentary debate on the Veterinary Medicines and Animals and Animal Products (Examination of Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019), Sue posed a number of important questions to the minister.
Sue asked the Minister – to provide an assurance that the regulations do not allow the import of meat or dairy products treated with excessive antibiotics; how much of the increased costs to pharmaceutical companies he expects to be passed on to vets, farmers, and consumers of meat, egg and dairy products; to set out the practical arrangements to secure no interruption in the supply of vital veterinary medical supplies if there is no Brexit deal in place; and if there will be capacity to ensure medicines for animals, as well as humans, can receive priority shipping.
“This legislation is important for the protection of human health and the environment, and for maintaining important safeguards to ensure food safety, the health and welfare of farmed livestock, as well as pets, and animals used in sport and recreation.
“Misuse or overuse of veterinary medicines can lead to long-lasting damage to health and the environment. We know the overuse of antibiotics in animals is contributing to the public health crisis of anti-microbial resistance. The leakage of powerful growth and other hormones into the water supply is also of concern.
“It is very important that there is no loss of collaboration and exchange of knowledge and expertise as we leave the EU.
“Research published by the National Office of Animal Health has found that nearly two thirds of pet owners in Britain are concerned that the supply of pet medicines could be interrupted by a No Deal Brexit.
“The minister needs to act quickly reassure pet owners who are worried that veterinary procedures may be delayed or cancelled due to a lack of supplies caused by a No Deal. I hope that following the debate, he will write to me to provide further clarity on the crucial issues which I have raised.”