New Legislation on Veterinary Drugs

As from 2022, some changes regarding the legislation on veterinary medicinal products will start to be applied in the European Union. What do you need to know about these changes?
New Legislation on Veterinary Drugs
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 18 November, 2023

The new legislation on veterinary drugs incorporates important changes that will have to be applied as of January 28th, 2022 in all the countries that make up the European Union.

The legislation aims to make the laws much clearer and more transparent for their more effective application. In this way, it’ll be possible to contribute better to animal welfare, the veterinary profession, and also public health. The following are some of the most relevant aspects of the new legislation.

The most relevant aspects of the legislation on veterinary drugs

A vet with a dog.

Veterinary prescriptions

One of the most relevant changes in the legislation on veterinary drugs has to do with prescriptions. As of January 28th, 2022, only veterinarians will be authorized to issue prescriptions.

In addition, the amounts prescribed will have to be specifically limited according to the treatment. It should also be noted that the prescription will be valid throughout the European Union, and will be regulated by different regulations.

Central database of medicines

Another vitally important aspect is the creation of a central database of medicines, which all veterinarians will have access to. This database will contain much more complete information on the different drugs.

Among many other data, veterinarians will be able to learn about possible adverse effects of the drugs, as well as pharmacovigilance data.

Prescriptions cascade

Prescription cascade has also been made more flexible. In this regard, the new legislation on veterinary medicines allows for easier export from other countries within the European Union.

It’ll also be possible to import medicines from other countries outside the EU, although under different conditions and with specific restrictions for antibiotics.

Online sales

A dog and a laptop.

In practice, online sales will be much more limited. Only medicines that don’t require a prescription can be purchased online.

In addition, online pharmacies must be duly certified by the European Union. They’ll also be closely monitored to ensure that they don’t violate any of the rules and laws set out in the new legislation.

Feed containing medicines

There are many feeds and snacks on the market today that contain some percentage of medicines. According to the new legislation, such feeds must be sold only with veterinary prescription. These feed products cannot contain any antimicrobial substances. In addition, they cannot be prescribed for more than two weeks.


The European Union has yet to define the final list of antibiotics that will be restricted or prohibited for use. The aim of this measure, among other things, is to avoid antimicrobial resistance.

The use of antibiotics as a preventive measure will also be restricted for the same reason. Surveillance of the use of antibiotics is mandatory, especially at a national level.

Products of animal origin

As regards products of animal origin, animals imported outside the borders of the European Union must comply with the ban on antibiotics that are reserved for human use only. They must also comply with the ban on antimicrobial growth and resistance.

The new legislation and animal welfare

As we have seen, the aim of the new legislation is animal welfare. The development of drugs that are suitable for the European Union and that can guarantee availability for different animal species, including smaller ones such as fish or bees has also been taken into account.

The aim is also to simplify the marketing and supervision of all previously approved veterinary drugs. On the other hand, the aim of supervision is to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics, avoiding resistance to them through their indiscriminate use.

A chemist.

The legislation on veterinary drugs aims to promote the welfare of the greatest possible number of animal species. It also seeks to improve the working conditions of the entire veterinary profession in order to guarantee public health.

In conclusion, this is a great initiative that seeks to organize and monitor everything related to animal medicines more effectively. It should be recalled that this legislation will come into force as of January 2022.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.