The RSPCA is concerned that in the event of a no-deal Brexit there may be interruptions to the supply chain of drug supplies used in our veterinary hospitals and other vets where our rescued animals are treated.

The lack of supply of Isoflurane ­— a general anaesthetic ­— in December due to a manufacturing issue highlights the very sudden impact a supply interruption can have on vet’s ability to carry out treatments, with the potential impact on animals’ welfare. Some non urgent procedures had to be postponed while we sought alternatives which were more costly.

Veterinary drug supply, unlike human medicine, is not being prioritised by the Government which means supplies could be stuck at ports. Currently veterinary medicine supply in the UK is heavily reliant on imports, although exact figures are hard to come by, but ordering tends to rely on the ‘just in time’ principle. Drugs require appropriate storage and temperature monitoring, so stockpiling is not necessarily straightforward.The RSPCA has contingency plans in place for a no deal Brexit to ensure animals in our care are fed and treated but disruption is possible the longer this continues.

Caroline Allen

RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer