In Bavaria, the district administrative authorities and the Bavarian Food Safety and Veterinary Control Authority (KBLV) are responsible for monitoring compliance by animal keepers and veterinarians with regulations governing medicinal products.
Drugs are used equally in human and veterinary medicine to treat diseases and to influence bodily functions and conditions. The use of pharmaceuticals in veterinary medicine is viewed ambivalently by the public, especially when pharmaceuticals are used on animals that are used to obtain food.
There is no doubt that our pets have a right to veterinary care. This is enshrined in law in the Animal Welfare Act. For owners of pets, it is a matter of course that effective medicines are available to their pet in the event of illness. However, the same must also apply to the care of our farm animals. Nevertheless, the use of veterinary medicines for these animals is often viewed critically and presented in a predominantly negative light in the media. However, the legal regulations governing the use of medicinal products in food-producing animals ensure that the safety of the food obtained from these animals is guaranteed.
The legal basis for veterinary medicinal products is found in European and national law, the monitoring and enforcement of which is carried out by the federal government and, in particular, the states.
At the EU level, Regulation (EU) 2019/6 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on veterinary medicinal products (EU Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation) has been in force since 28 January 2022. In Germany, it is supplemented by the "Act on the Marketing of Veterinary Medicinal Products and on the Implementation of Regulations under Union Law Concerning Veterinary Medicinal Products" - in short, the "Veterinary Medicinal Products Act" (TAMG).
There are additionally a number of special regulations for veterinary medicinal products, for example:
- Veterinary Medicinal Products Application and Verification Ordinance.
- Ordinance on veterinary home pharmacies
- Guidelines for the careful handling of antimicrobially active veterinary medicinal products.
On the one hand, the veterinary medicinal product regulations ensure the supply of medicinal products to our animals and, on the other hand, ensure that the use of the medicinal products does not cause any harm to consumers of food obtained from animals.
For this reason, domestic animals are basically divided into those species that (possibly) serve the purpose of obtaining food and those that, as pets, are not intended for consumption in any way.
In the case of animals used for obtaining food, only those medicinal products may be used whose active substances have been tested and evaluated with regard to their residue behavior in food obtained from animals (meat, eggs, milk). After the use of these medicinal products, if necessary, a withdrawal period must be observed during which the animal may not be slaughtered and products from that animal (e.g. milk or eggs) may not reach human consumption.
These restrictions do not apply to pet animals.
The veterinarian may dispense veterinary and - in certain cases - human medicinal products in the necessary quantities to owners of animals treated by him/her within the framework of the operation of a veterinary home pharmacy. In this case, animal owners must use the relevant medicinal products in accordance with the veterinary treatment instructions. Veterinary medicinal products obtained from pharmacies or retail outlets without the involvement of a veterinarian may only be used in accordance with their conditions of approval (see package insert for this purpose).
In the case of animals used for the production of food, records must be kept of all medicines used in accordance with the legal requirements. At the same time, the veterinarian fills out a dispensing and application record. This must be handed over to the animal owner without delay. The documentation must be kept by the animal owners and the treating veterinarians for 5 years and must be presented to the competent authorities upon request.
By the way: Vaccines and sera for animals do not fall within the scope of the Veterinary Medicinal Products Act in Germany. Special regulations from Regulation (EU) 2019/6 and the Animal Vaccines Regulation apply to these preparations.