Problem Or Issue:
While there have been very few reports of lack of expected efficacy relating to VMPs for euthanasia in Ireland, in view of the reports observed in other EU member states and the implications for the safety of the person administering the product and animal welfare, the HPRA considers it prudent to remind veterinary practitioners of the importance of following exactly the recommendations for use as detailed in the package leaflet and summary of product characteristics (SPCs) for this class of product. In particular veterinarians are requested to be mindful of the following when using such products:
- Dosage: Note any weight limits listed or recommendations for species subsets e.g. heavy animals.
- Route(s) of administration: Pay particular attention to routes requiring pre-medication or use of an intravenous catheter in large animals. Note any specific instructions regarding speed of injection.
- Measures post-administration: Note any specific instructions regarding checking for vital signs. It is always advisable to have an alternative method of euthanasia available.
- Storage conditions: Note any storage restrictions relating to temperature, light, shelf life following withdrawal of first dose etc. These are particularly relevant for large animal practice where products will be transported and stored in vehicles.
- Environmental conditions: Note advice relating to environmental surroundings of animals, handling of animals etc.
- Disposal of animal carcases: Care should be taken to ensure that other animals cannot access the carcases of animals euthanised with such products due to the risk of secondary intoxication following ingestion. Incineration is recommended where possible.
Actions To Be Taken:
Veterinarians are requested to thoroughly familiarise themselves with all sections of the SPCs for euthanasia products prior to use. SPCs for all authorised VMPs are available on the HPRA website.
Any adverse events following use of VMPs should be promptly reported to the HPRA via the online reporting form https://www.hpra.ie/homepage/about-us/report-an-issue/veterinary-medicines-adverse-reaction or to the marketing authorisation holder of the relevant product(s), at the earliest opportunity.