Access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland (NI) has recently been a serious concern. Up to 51% of medicines supplied to NI were at risk of being discontinued from 1 January 2023 when new EU rules, outlined in the Northern Ireland Protocol, were due to come into effect.
The EU Commission has now confirmed a three-year extension to the original grace period that delayed the implementation of the rules in 2022.
Responding to the extension, BVA President Malcolm Morley said: “We are delighted that Northern Ireland is set to retain access to essential veterinary medicines from 1st January 2023. More than half of all veterinary medicines were at risk of being discontinued, with significant implications for both animal health and welfare and human health. At the British Veterinary Association, we’ve been pressing the UK government and the EU Commission to find a workable solution to this issue. The extension of the grace period is extremely positive, and we welcome a solution which provides ample time to adapt for future compliance. Our thanks go to our BVA NI Branch officers, who all worked incredibly hard to help secure a positive resolution to this serious issue. We look forward to working further with all stakeholders to ensure the supply of essential veterinary medicines is maintained not just now, but for the future.”