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16 December, 1996
The Animal Remedies Board has decided to move Vitamin B12 from its classification as Prescription Animal Remedy (Class 1) and make it available over the counter.
In a move widely supported by sheep farmers throughout the country, but opposed by veterinarians, the Board noted that this product is used widely in the prevention of cobalt deficiency and that there was no evidence of toxicity, trade-related problems or residues associated with its use.
It noted concerns raised by veterinarians that animal welfare would be put at risk if farmers obtained the product from lay outlets, but found no evidence to support this view.
The Registrar of the Animal Remedies Board, Dr Gabrielle Deuss, said that licensees of Vitamin B12 injectable products must now apply to the Animal Remedies Board for the appropriate label changes before they can sell their products directly to farmers. Significantly more information will be required on the label, including a recommendation to call the veterinarian if there is not response to treatment.
Media inquiries: Gabrielle Deuss (04) 528 0126
Advice on licensing issues: Linley Thorburn or Catherine Alsford (04) 528 0126