Report illegal animal medicines

How to report suspected illegal activity and how we will deal with these reports.

The VMD’s Enforcement Section coordinates reports of suspected breaches of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR).

Our guidance documents listed under the ‘Supply’ heading explain what is allowed in GB, how medicines can legally be possessed and used, and by whom.

Why should you report

The information and intelligence we receive is analysed and may be shared with our enforcement partners with the aim of protecting public health, animal health and the environment, and to promote animal welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.

Anonymous reporting

You can submit an anonymous report to us through:

  • the online reporting form and selecting the anonymous option
  • our telephone “Hotline” on 01932 338 338

Please be aware that if you use this option and there is not enough information in your report, we may be limited on the action we can take regarding your concern.

We do not disclose where reports originate.

Report to us using our online reporting form.

Filling in the report

In the form we ask for:

  • details of the issue
  • your name, address, telephone number, email and profession
  • details of the product and/or company you are reporting
  • whether this has been reported to anybody else
  • supporting evidence if you have it
  • a link to the post if you are reporting a social media item

If you have more than one issue to report, please submit individual forms

Reporting options within the form

You must select one of the 4 options to which your report relates:

1. Prescriptions Misuse

You will be asked to select one of the options below:

  • genuine prescription which has been altered
  • genuine prescription used multiple times
  • prescription created from scratch

2. Unauthorised medicinal claims

To report products which are not authorised veterinary medicines, but which are presented as medicines.

For information about what can make a product ‘medicinal by presentation’ please refer to our guidance on Legal controls for veterinary medicines.

3. Online marketplace product

To report illegal sales or advertisements of veterinary medicines via online marketplaces.

Do not use this option if your concern relates to a medicinal claim made for a non-medicinal product; instead, select ‘Unauthorised Medicinal Claims’.

4. Other

Select this option to report any suspected breach of the VMR which does not fit into one of the other categories.

Report to us using our online reporting form.

What we will do

We will consider all information before deciding if, and what action to take in line with our Enforcement Policy.

Our priorities are determined by risk, for example higher risk cases can involve food producing animals, potential harm to humans, the environment or animal welfare.

We will not contact you unless we require clarification or further details. If we need these, we will aim to email you within 5 working days of receipt of your report.

All personal information will be treated in accordance with our Personal Information Charter & Privacy Notice

Updates to this page

Published 25 November 2014
Last updated 17 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect changes to the VMR.

  2. Change of process to include new online reporting tool and 'hotline' with anonymous option

  3. First published.

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