Rules gov­ern­ing medicine

Deb­bie Kings­ley out­lines the rules and reg­u­la­tions for small­hold­ings. This month: medicine records and fallen stock

Country Smallholding - - Inside This Month -

Once you have taken on poul­try, sheep, goats, pigs or cows, you will in­evitably have to deal with the ad­min­is­tra­tion of medicines and the oc­ca­sional death. This month we get to grips with keep­ing ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal records and deal­ing with fallen stock.

Medicine records

The Vet­eri­nary Medicines Reg­u­la­tions re­quire records to be kept of the sup­ply and ad­min­is­tra­tion of medicines for all food pro­duc­ing an­i­mals (even if they are kept as pets). Records must be durable, per­ma­nent and made avail­able for in­spec­tion on re­quest. They may be kept elec­tron­i­cally or as hard copies. Small­hold­ers who keep food-pro­duc­ing an­i­mals must doc­u­ment the ac­qui­si­tion of vet­eri­nary medic­i­nal prod­ucts and the records re­lat­ing to its use and dis­posal for at least five years, ir­re­spec­tive of whether or not the an­i­mal con­cerned is no longer in the keeper’s pos­ses­sion, has been slaugh­tered or has died dur­ing the pe­riod.

The small­holder must keep proof of pur­chase of all vet­eri­nary medic­i­nal prod­ucts ac­quired or, if they were not bought, doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence of how they were ac­quired.

At the time of use you will need to record: the name and batch num­ber of the prod­uct; the date of ad­min­is­tra­tion; the quan­tity ad­min­is­tered; the with­drawal pe­riod; and the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the an­i­mals treated. The with­drawal pe­riod will be writ­ten on the prod­uct con­tainer and is the time frame re­quired to elapse after ad­min­is­tra­tion of the medicine be­fore meat/milk/eggs from the treated an­i­mal are fit for hu­man con­sump­tion. Be par­tic­u­larly con­scious of the with­drawal pe­ri­ods for any medicines you choose to use in the lead up to slaugh­ter time.

If the vet, rather than the small­holder, ad­min­is­ters medicine to your live­stock, they must ei­ther en­ter the in­for­ma­tion per­son­ally in your records or give you the de­tails in writ­ing so that you have the in­for­ma­tion nec­es­sary to com­plete your records.

There are pub­li­ca­tions avail­able to record medicines ad­min­is­tered to an­i­mals by farm­ers, small­hold­ers and other keep­ers of an­i­mals, in­clud­ing: the Na­tional Of­fice of An­i­mal Health (NOAH), the An­i­mal Health Dis­trib­u­tors As­so­ci­a­tion (AHDA), the Pig Vet­eri­nary So­ci­ety, the Fish Health In­spec­torate and the Bri­tish Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (BBKA). You can down­load a generic one here: www. devon.gov.uk/vet­eri­nary_medicine_ record_ 27.10.08-2.pdf

Deal­ing with fallen stock

As a small­holder, you are re­spon­si­ble for the safe and le­gal col­lec­tion and dis­posal of your fallen stock (dead live­stock), still­born an­i­mals and af­ter­birth as soon as is rea­son­ably prac­ti­cal. You can make ar­range­ments for dis­posal at an ap­proved premises (knacker, hunt ken­nel, mag­got farm, in­cin­er­a­tor or ren­derer) or use the Na­tional Fallen Stock Com­pany www. nf­sco.co.uk/ which is a not for profit, in­dus­try led com­mu­nity in­ter­est com­pany of­fer­ing a col­lec­tion ser­vice for farm­ers and horse own­ers. You must not burn or bury fallen stock on your hold­ing, nor feed fallen stock to red kites or necrophagous birds (those that feed on car­casses).

Your vet or any lo­cal farmer or small­holder will be able to sign­post you to your lo­cal knacker, who will col­lect. While wait­ing for col­lec­tion you must en­sure that an­i­mals and birds can­not ac­cess the car­case. Bins can be used as a tem­po­rary store for fallen stock, es­pe­cially dur­ing times of high mor­tal­ity, such as lamb­ing, far­row­ing and kid­ding. Bins must be kept clean and dis­in­fected, have lids and be leakproof. You are re­spon­si­ble for cover­ing the costs of col­lec­tion and dis­posal. It is use­ful to note that a knacker will be able to hu­manely dis­patch live­stock as well as col­lect dead­stock.

NEXT MONTH: buy­ing a small­hold­ing.

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