Supply of Relevant Veterinary Medicinal Products Order 2005

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 18 November 2005.

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Photo of Lord Kimball Lord Kimball Conservative 3:30, 18 November 2005

My Lords, I can add very little to what has been said by my noble friend Lord Soulsby. We have a difficult situation in treating animals. I am thinking particularly of horses. The charge a veterinary surgeon can make will often depend on the fact that some of the charge can be recovered in the prescription he writes. We do not want to reduce the number of calls a veterinary surgeon may make. He may be treating an animal, but the animal does not respond to that treatment because he has got it wrong. He will need to change the treatment.

I was extremely interested in the "Country File" programme of 7 November, which explained how we can go to Ireland and buy prescriptions at a much reduced cost. If you have a horse that is on Butazolidin, you do not have to go back to your own veterinary surgeon for another prescription. You can go to Ireland, fill your pockets with the drug, and come back and continue the treatment. As with so much in the profession, this is an extremely complicated business. We must proceed with great care.

I would like to see the order withdrawn at this stage in order to allow us to consider it further, particularly in view of the costs involved.