The BVA has been slammed by SQP associations AHDA and AMTRA after the association announced it had written to the VMD asking for all anthelmintics to classified as POM-V.
The BVA stands accused of being “out of touch with its members” and attempting to monopolise the supply and distribution of anthelmintics for vets only, after requesting that all drugs of this type be classified as POM-V.
The BVA was slammed by the Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA) and the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) after president Peter Jones revealed that the association had written to the VMD requesting the change be made to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations in order to help combat resistance to the medicines.
Mr Jones said: “We know that resistance to anthelmintics is a major problem that must be addressed vigorously if the livestock industry is to avoid a potentially disastrous situation.
“Anthelmintics should only be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon who has the animals under his/her care and based on a sound clinical diagnosis.”
If the BVA gets its wish, suitably qualified persons (SQPs) will no longer be able to prescribe the concerned medicines. The association believes this is a good thing, claiming that “SQPs do not have the level of expertise that a veterinary surgeon has in veterinary parasitology” and that “many experts in parasitology have cited the distribution of anthelmintics by SQPs in the past as one of the main reasons for the dangerous levels of resistance” in the UK.
However, AMTRA – the SQP awarding body and regulator – claims the BVA’s concerns are “without foundation“.
AMTRA secretary general Stephen Dawson (above right) said: “The large majority of SQPs deal with parasite control on a daily basis, having trained and been examined to a syllabus developed with BVA input. SQPs have to undertake compulsory CPD, the majority of which includes good practice in parasite control. Therefore AMTRA has every confidence that qualified SQPs have excellent knowledge of parasitology to advise their clients on the correct choice and use of anthelmintics.”
AHDA secretary general Ian Scott (left) insists that, should the association succeed, it will “monopolise” the supply and distribution of anthelmintics for vets only.
Mr Scott explained: “An attempt by BVA to create a division between vets and SQPs demonstrates that the BVA is out of touch with its members. Both prescribing channels must work together to tackle the problem and AHDA has been working hard with vets at national and local level to ensure customers receive consistent, high quality, up-to-date and relevant advice from both channels.”
Meanwhile, the NFU insists it is “confident of the quality and technical knowledge” of SQPs and that it is “unaware of any scientific justification for the BVA’s call”.
Catherine McLaughlin, animal health and welfare advisor at the union, said: “Our priority is that farmers should have good and timely access to all veterinary medicines and medicine advice.”
A spokesperson for the VMD said the directorate would respond to the BVA’s letter shortly.