Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Consultation on the future of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate

Consultation on the future of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (News Release ref : 297/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 8 September 2008

Defra today launches a consultation to decide the future status of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), specifically whether it should remain a Defra Executive Agency or be merged with another body in accordance with Hampton Principles.

The VMD is one of 31 regulatory bodies that Philip Hampton in his report 'Reducing Administrative Burdens: effective inspection and enforcement', recommended be consolidated into seven thematic regulators. Defra committed to consult stakeholders to seek their views on the future status of the VMD in 2008.

The consultation will consider:

* whether the VMD should merge with another regulatory body and if so, which one, or

* whether it should be retained as an Executive Agency of Defra. The consultation will seek comments from a large number of stakeholders to ascertain how merger or retention as an Executive Agency will affect the VMD's customer service, ability to deliver and provide value for money. Consultees will also be asked to consider to what extent a merger would affect the achievement of Hampton Principles and to suggest which regulatory body they think most appropriate if a merger is recommended. The consultation will run until 28 November 2008 and can be found at

Notes to Editors

1. The VMD works to secure responsible, safe and effective use of veterinary medicinal products. It aims to protect public health, animal health, the environment and promote animal welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.

2. Regulators must have regard to the Hampton Principles when delivering regulatory activity. These principles cover economic progress, risk assessment, advice and guidance, inspections and other visits, information requirements, compliance and enforcement actions and accountability.

3. 'Reducing Administrative Burdens: effective inspection and enforcement' can be found at

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