The environmental impact of veterinary medicines
Veterinary medicines are used in the treatment of large animals such as horses and bovines. In addition, they are used to treat large numbers of animals, such as farmed pigs. That must mean that large quantities of the medicines are released into the environment. What impact does that have?
Veterinary medicines must be safe to use without causing harm to the animal, the person administering the medication or the environment. The European Union and Finnish legislation both required veterinary medicine manufacturers to provide environmental impact statements when applying for licensing, known as a marketing authorisation, for their products.
It is also possible to attach conditions to the licenses granted to manufacturers. In practice, this means that limitations can be placed on the way in which the medicine can be used in order to ensure safety. If a medicine is considered to be unsafe, marketing authorisation is not granted.