The government has unveiled legislation to modernise the Veterinary Medicines Regulations, including measures to help tackle antimicrobial resistance.

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 set out the controls on the marketing, manufacture, distribution, and possession of vet medicines and medicated feed.

They are seen as a critical tool to help protect livestock and pet health, public health, and the environment.

READ MORE | Kate talks about her journey into farm veterinary medicine

Modernising it further will see the government reduce regulatory burden; with new regulations facilitating the submission of one marketing authorisation application dossier and enabling common packaging to be used across the UK.

Other changes include the introduction of measures to help tackle antimicrobial resistance by increasing restrictions on the use of antibiotics and antibiotics administered via feed.

This will build upon wider work on antimicrobial resistance outlined in the UK’s 20-year vision to contain and control antimicrobial resistance by 2040. The recent UK-Veterinary Antimicrobial Surveillance report showed that sales of antibiotics for use in livestock fell by nearly 10% in the last year and have fallen by 59% since 2014. Veterinary medicines regulations chief executive officer, Abi Seager, said: “I am delighted that this much-anticipated legislation has been brought to parliament.

READ MORE | Being a rural vet is a hugely rewarding role says chief vet

“I would like to thank Lord Douglas-Miller for his input, and our stakeholders for helping to shape our thinking, both in responses to our consultation and through other contributions.

“We eagerly await parliamentarians discussing our proposals, and we hope they support these much-needed changes.”