New rules governing the supply of vet medicines come into effect on 30 October, but while drug categories will change little, the rules governing suitability of those trading drugs will be stricter.

Steve Dean, chief executive of the Vet Medicines Directorate (VMD), told delegates at last weekend’s British Vet Association congress that anyone supplying drugs under the suitably qualified persons (SQP) category would need new qualifications to register.

“There will be no grandfather rights for anyone falling into the SQP category,” he warned.

However, there were concerns about how this sector would be regulated, said Alistair Barr of Bristol Vet School, as there could be any number of bodies examining and registering SQPs.

“There should be a single examining body and a single register of qualified persons.

The last thing the industry needs is a plethora of bodies all performing the same task. It could mean a person being struck off one register and immediately joining another, having a single register would prevent this.”

Another issue surrounding the SQP category was that of supplying appropriate products and assessing the buyer’s competence to use the product, he said.

“But how will a merchant or pharmacist be able to assess their competence when they may never have met the buyer before? “