Recording medicine use in livestock

Find out the legal requirements for recording medicine use on farm.

Back to: Responsible use of medicines in livestock

Keeping medicine use records

Keeping up-to-date records of medicine purchase and use is a legal requirement. It is also the only way to keep track of withdrawal periods. Records are important on the rare occasions when a medicine causes an adverse reaction or is ineffective.

Medicine records are also useful for monitoring the incidence of disease or identifying trends in disease outbreaks.

Records can be used to see if any management changes, such as introducing a vaccination programme, have reduced the number of animals requiring antibiotic treatment.

At a minimum, recording requirements must comply with the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013.

What needs to be recorded?

The owner or keeper of food-producing animals must keep the documentation relating to the purchase of all veterinary medicinal products acquired for those animals for five years. The following must be recorded:

  • Name of the product and the batch number
  • Date of acquisition
  • Quantity acquired
  • Name and address of the supplier

At the time of administration, the keeper must record:

  • Name of the product
  • Date of administration
  • Quantity administered
  • Withdrawal period
  • Identity of the animal(s) treated

If a veterinary surgeon administers a veterinary medicinal product, they must record the above information relating to administration, the batch number and their name in the keeper’s records. Alternatively, they must provide this information to the keeper in writing and the keeper must then enter it in their records.

If the keeper disposes of a veterinary medicine other than by treating an animal, they must record:

  • Date of disposal
  • Quantity of product involved
  • How and where they disposed of it

Useful links

More information on medicine labelling and storage

Using medicines responsibly

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