ON-FARM ASPECTS - STORAGE, RECORD-KEEPING DISPOSAL ETC.
All animal remedies must be stored securely and in a manner that will not result in their deterioration (e.g. exposure to light, or extremes of hot or cold temperatures). Veterinary Medicines should be stored in accordance with conditions outlined in the datasheet. It is recommended that medicines be stored in a fixed locked cabinet, which is located in a secure building. In the case of vaccines, which require strict temperature control in a fridge, please ensure that the fridge is functioning correctly. Finally, as with all medicines, precautions should be taken at all times to ensure that children cannot access them.
As a general rule, only quantities that are necessary to treat current disease situations should be on farm, however a farmer may also wish to keep a small quantity in anticipation of future animal health issues; remember, buying too much medicine in advance brings forward your costs and the clock is ticking towards their expiry date. In the case of prescription only medicines, a farmer must be in possession of a prescription in order to possess these medicines, and the quantity on farm must only be in line with quantities detailed on the prescription.
What on-farm medicines record must I keep?
A farmer is required to keep a record of all animal remedies coming on to the farm, as well as a record of all animal remedies administered or unused/out of date veterinary medicines which are returned. The incoming record must detail the following - quantity, authorised name of animal remedy, date of receipt and name and address of supplier. In the case of prescription only medicines, the prescription will suffice as the incoming record. With regard to records for animal remedies administered the following information is required – the date of administration, name and quantity of animal remedy administered, identity of animal treated, and date of expiry of withdrawal period. The farmer must also keep a record of the name of the person who administered the animal remedy, the name of the prescribing veterinary practitioner if applicable and quantities of unused or expired animal remedies which were returned. In the case of farmers that are administering medicated feed, the Veterinary Written Direction must also be kept, as well as a record of the administration of the medicated feed. The essential elements of the Animal Remedies Record (pdf 29Kb) are given in Animal Remedies Legislation; this record can be maintained electronically, provided the required information is maintained in a secure manner and can be accessed. The Record, which is very important in the context of the single farm payment, must be kept for 5 years from the date of the administration.
The supplier of the animal remedy, be it a veterinary practice, licensed merchant or pharmacy is required to have arrangements in place to take back from you any unused or out of date quantity of that product. You should check with the outlet concerned so that you can comply with their particular requirements (designated days etc.)
As individual local authorities may have differing rules on disposal, you are advised to contact your local authority.
If a medicine has a mandatory post-treatment 'withdrawal period' this will be specified clearly on the product label, or in the case of prescription only medicines, the prescription must stipulate the withdrawal period applicable. You must not sell an animal that has been treated for slaughter, or sell its produce (e.g. milk) until this withdrawal period has expired.
What is the legislation governing animal medicines in Ireland?
The European Communities (Animal Remedies and Medicated Feedingstuffs) Regulations 1994 (SI No 176/1994 )
As well as being a legal requirement, you have an obligation to consumers to use only authorised medicines and to use them as specified on the product labelling or as prescribed by your vet.
If you breach the legislation you risk having your animals excluded from the food chain and/or being prosecuted and/or losing part or all of your Single Farm Payment.