TWO RECENT prosecutions for using illegal vet medicines are just a small percentage of the total number of cases under investigation, says the Vet Medicines Directorate (VMD).

A total of 40 cases are being investigated, with charges made in eight of them, says a spokeswoman. “One of the cases where charges have been laid relates to a person who is suspected of supplying these drugs to producers.”

In the two recent prosecutions, the producers involved pleaded guilty and received 12-month conditional discharges and were ordered to pay costs, reports the VMD.

Producers who want to ensure products are licensed for UK use should check to see they bear a UK marketing authorisation number. This is identified by the letters VM or PL followed by a five-digit code, a slash and a four-digit code or a code prefixed by the letters EU.