Animal Medicines and The Cascade

Frequently Asked Questions about chickens health.
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Animal Medicines and The Cascade

Post by Tim »

There is a legal guideline that covers medicines prescribed to pets called "The Cascade" that states that authorised medicines must be used where possible but it gives Vets the flexibility to use other medications in situations where an authorised product is not available.

This is how the cascade works for vets:

Ideally use a drug licensed for a specific condition in a specific species

If this is not possible...

Use a drug authorised in the UK for use in another species OR for a different condition in the same species

If this is not possible...

Use a medicine authorised for human use OR a medicine from another country authorised for that use OR a medicine prepared by a vet, pharmacist or Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) holding a manufacturer's licence.

Many products that Vets prescribe are licensed under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme which covers small domestic pets not intended for food use or for other animals and seem to work very well on chickens (and you can imagine the cost involved in testing products for use on chickens that produce meat or eggs).

As a result of this, products that aren't licensed for chickens often get talked about on forums and often in books and are well known solutions to problems for many - but - remember technically, these do need to be prescribed to you by your Vet.

Common questions concern dosage and egg withdrawal periods and even if you speak to the manufacturer, legally they cannot advise you on this and do not have the data because chickens are not the intended use for the product.... so if you are in any doubt it is necessary to ask your Vet.

Further Information
  • Poultry Medicine Section including some information about Egg Withdrawal Periods

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