The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is unhappy that the VMD has re-classified Zolvix, an anthelmintic for sheep, from POM-V to POM-VPS. The re-classification means it can now by prescribed by SQPs as well as vets.
BVA President Gudrun Ravetz said: “We know that resistance to anthelmintics is increasing in grazing animals and needs to be addressed if the livestock industry is to avoid a potentially disastrous situation of being unable to tackle parasites.
“The reclassification of Zolvix from POM-V to POM-VPS is in direct opposition to the trend in Europe, where we are seeing increased control over dispensing of anthelmintics in species where resistance is a serious threat to animal welfare and profitable production; we’re extremely concerned that we might start seeing resistance develop in group 4 as a result.
“BVA believes that prescribing of anthelmintics requires a level of control best provided by a veterinary surgeon who has the animals under his/her care, and is based on a sound clinical diagnosis, in order to protect animal welfare and safeguard the efficacy of these products for the future.”
The VMD says that Zolvix was re-classified after a request from its manufacturer, Elanco. “Increasing the availability of this product is intended to facilitate its incorporation into strategic worm control programmes on-farm,” said a VMD spokesman. “Such strategic use of anthelmintics is in line with current guidance on best practice for worm control, from expert groups such as Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS).”
The new prescription categories will come in on 1st July to allow for additional training of new prescribers. AMTRA says it will announce additional training (CPD) for farm animal SQPs to ensure they are up to date with the latest advice from SCOPS and COWS on resistance and parasite control and will write to all relevant SQP soon.
New SQPs will be required to undertake a revised and extended module before gaining their farm animal registration.