An SQP (suitably qualified person) working in Dorset has been found to be in “breach of professional standards” over a brochure on treating parasites in sheep and cattle.

Peter Barker was found to be in “breach of professional standards” over a brochure he produced for customers on treating parasites in sheep and cattle.

SQPs – who are entitled to prescribe and/or supply POM-VPS, NFA-VPS and AVM-GSL medicines – are regulated by the Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA).

According to AMTRA, Peter Barker of Barkers Animal Health in Wimborne was found to be in breach after “serious concerns” were raised about a brochure he produced for customers.

AMTRA secretary general Stephen Dawson said: “In their work helping farmers with the health of their livestock, SQPs have to follow a strict code of practice.

“Following the complaint about Mr Barker, AMTRA’s professional standards committee concluded his brochure on treatment of parasites in sheep and cattle fell short of what would be expected from a responsible SQP.”

Overuse risk

According to Mr Dawson, the committee found “several instances” in the brochure that could result in overuse of medicines. There was also no mention of:

  • the importance of consideration of the individual circumstances of the farm or animals
  • the potential resistance status of the parasites in question
  • the principles of responsible use of medicines

Mr Dawson said: “We were particularly concerned the brochure appeared to encourage use of products beyond what is permitted by the approved product label. This is not only contrary to regulations on veterinary medicines, but misuse or overuse of medicines could harm the health of the animals in our care.

“The medicine’s authorisation and associated product label are based on research and product knowledge and are there for a reason. Off-label prescription of animal medicines can only be done by a veterinary surgeon in limited circumstances and not by an SQP.”

No appeal

Mr Barker was sent a letter of warning by the authority, the highest sanction available short of removal from the SQP register. Under AMTRA procedures, Mr Barker had the right of written or verbal appeal following the letter, but no appeal was received. The case has, therefore, been closed.

“Such complaints against SQPs are rare,” said Mr Dawson. “In fact, AMTRA has only considered four complaints in the last four years.

“However, the professional status of SQPs is founded on principles of responsible use of animal medicines.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

To mark the launch of the 2017 BVA In Practice CPD programme, the association has teamed up with programme sponsor Subaru to find a vet to give one of its Outback models the most intense test drive possible.

3 mins

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is accepting nominations from vets and VNs who wish to stand as candidates in next year’s council elections.

5 mins

While on the farm rotation at university, Jordan's inexperience lead her to discuss when things go wrong and examine the "safety net" provided by the Veterinary Defence Society.

10 mins

A joint letter has been sent to the Prime Minister by the RCVS and the BVA highlighting concerns about how Brexit is impacting the veterinary profession.

3 mins

Digital media has revolutionised the way many vets and VNs fulfil their CPD obligations. Accessing learning online is often cheaper, faster and more convenient than traditional modalities. So, is there still a case to be made for event-based learning? James Westgate reports.

16 mins

The event on 24 November also includes a session on the future of Schedule 3 and one-on-one Practice Standard Scheme surgeries.

4 mins