THE VETERINARY Medicines Directorate (VMD) has launched a voluntary scheme through which online retailers can become accredited and animal owners can source medicines safely.
It involves an application process and site inspection to check ongoing compliance with regulations.
But the British Veterinary Association (BVA), while supporting the move, has called for the scheme to be compulsory and wants more robust measures to stop prescription fraud.
It is currently in discussion with the VMD.
"Our biggest concern with online medicine retailers has been that animal owners didn’t know whether they were buying genuine, safe medicines that comply with UK regulations,” said BVA past president Harvey Locke. "This simple scheme launched by the VMD will allow customers to know within seconds whether the company they are using complies with the high standards set by UK legislation and the regulator.
"The scheme is a very welcome positive step in protecting the public from illegal sites, but in future we would like to see it become compulsory so that everyone can be confident that they are buying products that are safe for their animals and themselves.”