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Supply of Prescription Medications

Supply of Prescription Medications

At Oberon and Hartley Veterinary and Animal Centre, we take pride in providing you and your animals with high quality, professional veterinary service. As a valued client, we would like to inform you of some legal requirements relating to the supply of prescription medications for animals (Veterinary Practices Act, 2003 & Controlled Substances Act 1984).

The Veterinary industry is coming under increasing scrutiny on numerous issues, foremost of which is the supply of prescription medications (e.g. antibiotics, sedation) As such, we have updated our clinic policies to reflect our commitment to upholding the reputation of the industry and to meet our legal requirements.

In 2005, the Australian Veterinary Surgeons Board developed a checklist of ‘Professional Veterinary Dispensing Service’ to guide veterinarians in the use of prescription medications. The listed criteria must be met before a veterinarian can sell, supply, prescribe or administer medication to any animal. 

Prescribing, Authorising and Dispensing (PAD) Checklist

  • You (the client) must be a bona fide (genuine) client of the clinics
  • There must be a therapeutic need
  • The animal / herd / flock must be under the veterinarian’s care
  • The requirements for storage and handling have been fulfilled
  • The Vet has followed the requirements of the drugs and poisons and control-of-use legislation in their state/territory
  • The correct protocols are used for documentation, recording and labelling
  • Follow up and check of the use of and the outcome from medication
  • The vet must be able to provide after care for the animal / herd / flock
  • You (the client) must understand the instructions for use, and use the medication properly (including observing any withholding periods and export slaughter intervals)
  • The amount dispensed is reasonable for the treatment of the condition for which they have documented the therapeutic need.
  • If the drug is an antibiotic, they have considered the expected infectious agent, spectrum of activity of the drug and implications of antimicrobial resistance.

The NSW Veterinary Practice Legislation 2013 released by the NSW Government States:

A Veterinary practitioner may supply restricted substances only:

To a person responsible for the care of an animal that the veterinary practitioner has physically examined or has under his or her direct care, and only in respect of the animal, or 
To a person responsible for the care of an animal, with the written authority of another veterinary practitioner who has physically examined the animal concerned or has it under his or her direct care, and only in respect of that animal.

How do these guidelines affect you?

One of the key points in the criteria is ensuring you are a “bona fide” client of our veterinary centres. The Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW interpretation of this means that we need to have visited your property within the past 12 months. If you are requesting medication for sheep (e.g. ram sedation) or cattle and equine (e.g. penicillin), we need to have seen your animals within that time period.

To be a bona fide client:

  • The vet has assumed responsibility regarding the health and welfare of the animals and need for treatment with owner’s agreement
  • The vet has knowledge of the animals to initiate a general diagnosis of the medical condition. This means the vet has recently seen and is acquainted with the keeping / care of animals by virtue of an examination or medically appropriate and timed visits to the premises where animals are kept.
  • The vet has arranged emergency coverage and follow up evaluation if an adverse reaction or failure of the treatment regimen occurs.

Documentation of medications is another area you may notice change.

Certain medications (e.g. ram sedation) have specific forms to be filled out by you and the veterinarian.
But what if your animals don’t need a vet every year?


If we have not visited your property in the past 12 months, we cannot legally supply you with ANY prescription medications.

In this instance, if you have an animal requiring medication, you can either arrange for a farm visit with one of our vets, or you may be able to bring the animal(s) into the clinic for assessment and treatment (e.g. sick calves).

If you have not had a vet visit recently, and have no sick animals, we can arrange to do a Medication Compliance Visit for a discounted consultation price of $49.50 + travel to help fulfil the requirements of you being a “bona fide” client. This visit will necessarily involve observation of your animals at close quarters. A property visit form will also be filled out by the attending vet which includes details of all animals, your property, and farming management to aid in diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment. 

We realise these legislative requirements are not necessarily convenient, and indeed in many cases seem “ridiculous” when you have been a long-standing client of the clinics, however please understand we have a legal obligation to uphold these regulations and keep details current.  We are happy to discuss this issue with you and if you have any more questions please phone the Hartley Vet Clinic on 6355 22 72.