Vets and farmers are being encouraged to work together to ensure best practice in the disposal of pharmaceutical waste by Ceva Animal Health, following recent research which found that nearly 60 per cent of vets believed some of their farming clients to could be disposing of pharmaceutical waste in domestic or commercial waste bins.
Improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste may lead to contamination and a threat to wildlife. Jon Mayer, farm veterinary surgeon at Park Issa Vets, commented on mismanaged clinical waste, saying it poses a threat to health and safety where broken glass or sharps can harm animals and humans.
“Correct disposal minimises this risk and prevents environmental contamination, whilst keeping farms in line with assurance standards,” he said. “Some veterinary practices may offer clinical waste bins where the disposal is usually included in the price.”
To help dispose of farm pharmaceutical waste responsibly, Ceva has produced some practical top tips for farmers:
- Don’t dispose of pharmaceutical waste in the domestic rubbish bin as this goes to landfill and contaminated containers can leak unused medicine and be a threat to wildlife
- Don’t put pharmaceutical waste in the recycling bin as bottles and plastics containing used medicines cannot be recycled and must be incinerated
- Don’t throw used medicines bottles onto the farm or bury them as the leakage of unused medicines can be harmful to wildlife
- Dispose of pharmaceutical waste in a leak proof plastic box that sits near the medicine cabinet.
- Don’t allow the pharmaceutical waste box to overfill.
- Contact your vet to find out the best way to dispose of pharmaceutical waste.
- Have a separate sharps bin – all needles for injection and any blades used will need to go in the bin once used.
- Ask your vet about alternative packaging where appropriate for prescribed injectable products.
“As an industry we should be doing all that we can to improve our environmentally friendly credentials,” Peter Keyte, ruminant business unit manager at Ceva Animal Health commented. “Ceva will continue to invest in innovative eco-friendly technology for livestock injectables and pioneer improvements to help ensure best practice throughout the industry.”