§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he has any plans to update regulations controlling the use of therapeutic antibiotics; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what assessment he makes of the benefits of the use of therapeutic antibiotics in animals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Fenner
Antibiotics, like all veterinary medicines, must be licensed under the Medicines Act 1968. Licences under the Act are granted only after a thorough evaluation of data establishing the safety, quality and efficacy of the product to be licensed, including the safety of consumers of produce from treated animals.
Antibiotics licensed for therapeutic purposes may only be sold or supplied in accordance with a prescription issued by a veterinary surgeon who has in his care the animals to be treated.
Therapeutic antibiotics may be administered to animals in their feedingstuffs. Because we considered that the provisions of the Medicines Act 1968 on medicated 901W feedingstuffs were unsatisfactory, we took powers in the Animal Health and Welfare Act 1984 to introduce improved controls on the manufacture and distribution of medicated feed. We are at present discussing with professional and trade organisations our plans for regulations under these new powers.