VMD announce the withdrawal of marketing authorisations (MAs) of veterinary medicines containing zinc oxide

RUMA supports pragmatic decision to allow the responsible use of existing supplies of zinc oxide in the supply chain (within shelf life) after the withdrawal date.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has confirmed that the UK will implement the European Commission Decision to withdraw the marketing authorisations (MAs) of medicines containing zinc oxide for oral administration to food producing animals by 26 June 2022. This Commission Implementing Decision was passed before the Brexit agreement, and therefore automatically forms part of the EU law retained by the UK.

In the UK, there are two veterinary medicines containing zinc oxide authorised for oral administration to food-producing animals, both of which will be affected by the withdrawal. These products have historically been used to protect the health and welfare of weaned piglets.

The Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance welcomes news that use of existing supplies of zinc oxide in the supply chain (within their shelf life) can continue after the withdrawal date. This is in accordance with established practice when MAs expire, and a product is no longer being placed on the market.

RUMA Chair, Cat McLaughlin, said: “There has been a lot of engagement and hard work between the UK Pig Industry and the VMD. It is important that everyone in the supply chain understands this ‘run out’ of product will be a legitimate action post 26th June.

“We understand most products have a two-year shelf life. This allows for a reasonable window to use up product already in the system and gives time for the exploration of alternative weaning strategies and management where zinc products are currently being used. Producers are encouraged to talk to their feed suppliers to ensure regular orders are factored into the remaining production process in the run up to the June deadline.”

More information can be found on the VMD website