Updated guidance on destruction and disposal of veterinary medicines containing controlled drugs

We have reviewed and updated our guidance; Controlled drugs: recording, using, storing and disposal including the interpretation of ‘independent veterinary surgeon’ that can witness the destruction of CDs.

We recognise that destruction and disposal of CDs can be complicated especially when faced with a shortage of Police Controlled Drug Liaison Officers, reduced availability of VMD inspectors when inspections are being carried out remotely, or a lack of independent vets within close proximity.

The updated guidance is a result of a survey that indicated that a vet’s preferred option is to use an independent vet to witness the destruction of CDs.

The changes introduced will increase the pool of vets able to witness destruction of CDs, and as such will help:

  • reduce the stockpiling of large quantities of CDs awaiting destruction and disposal
  • improve safety
  • reduce the risk of diversion of CDs

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) are currently reviewing their ‘guidance to help vets comply with the Controlled Drugs legislation‘, which is available via our guidance on Controlled drugs: Veterinary medicines. The RCVS guidance will be updated to reflect the changes in due course.

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