News story

Veterinary surgeons: temporary changes to the retail supply of veterinary medicines

Relaxation of enforcement during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In light of the enhanced precautions on social distancing we must take as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has relaxed the enforcement of specific provisions of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) to allow veterinary surgeons to delegate the retail supply of veterinary medicines to internet retailers or wholesale dealers for home delivery to the end user.

This decision has immediate effect and will last until 31 August and then cease.

The VMD will not issue an improvement notice if there are breaches of the relevant provisions of paragraph 8 of Schedule 3 of the VMR during this period. For further information read the statement from the VMD (PDF, 165KB, 2 pages).

This is a temporary VMD enforcement policy in relation to specific obligations under the VMR only. The VMR continue to apply. The VMD may continue to take action to enforce those obligations in cases where the procedures described in the statement are not followed.

These changes do not affect the existing provisions that allow a veterinary surgeon in exceptional circumstances, for example for animal welfare reasons, to instruct a Wholesale Dealer Authorisation holder to deliver medicines to the client’s premises.

Further information

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have issued guidance for veterinary professionals on how to continue to undertake veterinary work.

Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 31 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Phasing out COVID-19 facilitations

  2. Date of temporary facilitation changed to 31 July

  3. Temporary facilitation will last until 30 June when we will review it.

  4. Temporary change to the retail supply of veterinary medicines - review date now 31 May

  5. Added link to RCVS guidance for veterinary professionals on how to continue to undertake veterinary work.

  6. First published.