Horseowners asked to support the campaign against proposed changes on the sale of veterinary medicines

There are growing fears over proposed European legislation which would mean all medicinefor equine use could only be obtainable under prescription.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), working as part of the Animal Health Alliance set up to fight the changes, has submitted an amendment to Brussels.

If accepted, this would allow the UK to continue to offer medicines in a way similar to the existing system.

The association is calling on the equestrian community to get behind the campaign.

BETA’s chief executive, Claire Williams, said: “We areconcerned that people haven’t grasped the seriousness of the potential effect on both horses directly and the equestrian industry in general.

“If the legislation goes ahead, horse owners would lose the convenience of being able to buy wormers and other routinely used products such as sweet itch treatments from their local saddler, as well as being faced with the real possibility of increased prices as competition declines.”

The veterinary profession in this country is not backingthe proposed changes.

British Veterinary Association vice-president, Tim Greet, said: “It would be very impractical for these medicines to be prescription only in this country.

We don’t believe that all wormers need to come from a vet. They should be available from other sources as long as the client understand how to use them correctly.”

BETA believes the changes would effect equestrian businesses in this country, with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs.

The association is calling on horseowners to write to their MEPs and MPs to highlight the negative effects of the changes.

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