In September 1981 the European Community adopted Directives 81/851 EEC and 81/852 EEC which aim to harmonize the procedures under which member states control the manufacture, marketing and use of most kinds of veterinary medicines. These directives are due to be implemented by the autumn of this year and their effects on the practising veterinary surgeon are summarised here. The directives aim to ensure that national rules for the production and marketing of veterinary medicines safeguard public health and animal health without hindering the development of trade and industry in medicinal products within the Community. It follows that any controls should be sufficient to prevent, for example, undesirable residues in food but that national authorities should not use these controls as hidden barriers to trade.
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