Section IX Countersignature Clarification from DEFRA
There has historically been considerable confusion about the need for and legality of having a vet complete the countersignature in Section IX of equine passports. After considerable discussion between BEVA and DEFRA, DEFRA has produced the following written advice:
· If the veterinary surgeon administers veterinary medicinal products authorised in accordance with Article 6(3) or those administered in accordance with Article 10(2) of Directive 2001/82/EC, EITHER the veterinary surgeon OR the owner MUST sign Part II of Section IX of the horse passport. In practice, this means that if the owner has not already signed, the veterinary surgeon should do so when such products are administered. There is no requirement for both a signature and countersignature.
· Provided the conditions above have been met, there is no requirement for a veterinary surgeon’s signature in Section IX before the animal is exported or moved.
· If no such medicinal products have been administered there is of course no need for a signature or countersignature.
· Under the passport format mandated by Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 there is no longer a Part in Section IX to sign an animal INTO the human food chain. Unless an animal is signed out, there is an assumption that it is eligible for human consumption.
BEVA is still awaiting guidelines for the new Passport Regulations to be made available. As soon as they are, we will prepare further guidelines for members. I would like to remind all BEVA members that the Passport Regulations are designed to help prevent certain medicinal products (of particular relevance is phenylbutazone) from entering the human food chain. It is imperative that we play our role in restricting the use of these products to horses which are declared as ‘not intended for human consumption’ or we risk losing them from our dispensary shelves.
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