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The aim of these requirements is to protect human and public health by preventing residues of these substances in meat and other foodstuffs from entering the human food chain. They apply to all farmed animals. They provide consumer confidence that meat is safe.

Main requirements

  • food-producing animals should not be given ‘restricted substances’, unless given in line with any permitted exceptions which would need to be granted prior to the use of the substances
  • restricted substances’ means thyrostatic substances, stilbenes, stilbene derivatives, their salts and esters, oestradiol 17B and its ester-like derivatives, and substances having oestrogenic, androgenic or gestogenic action, and beta-agonists
  • the following substances must not be stored on your farm:
    • substances related to oestradiol 17B , or its derivatives
    • beta-agonists to induce tocolysis in cows when calving
    • substances with a hormonal or thyrostatic action, unless they have been prescribed by your veterinary surgeon
  • have food-producing animals on your farm, send animals to slaughter, or sell meat (or any other animal product) derived from an animal to which any restricted substance has been administered, unless given in line with any permitted exceptions
  • use veterinary medicinal products only for their authorised use, or in line with veterinary instruction
  • ensure you record relevant information, including all substances used by your veterinary surgeon
  • keep medicine record books up-to-date
  • observe the relevant withdrawal period if food producing animals have been given any of the restricted substances, in line with the permitted exceptions

Field checks

  • check the medical record and store, specifically looking at records for the therapeutic treatments mentioned above and checking that withdrawal periods have been adhered to
  • check the confirmation of cattle comparing with breed type
  • check that unauthorised products are not used

Both Animal and Plant Health Agency (on farm) and the Food Standards Agency (in abattoirs), carry out sampling for residues of banned substances on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate under the National Surveillance Scheme. Samples which show a positive result or confirm the use of a banned substance will be reported to the Welsh Government.

Further information

For further information please contact:

  • Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

or see Cross compliance: useful contacts (2024) factsheet.