Animal Medicines Australia launches vet medicine disposal campaign

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veterinary medicine disposal

The peak body for Australia’s animal health companies, Animal Medicines Australia, recently launched the Vet-Med Disposal Campaign to help veterinarians, farmers and pet owners dispose of medicines safely.

“Disposing of old, expired and unused medicines responsibly, whether for your human or animal family members, is essential to safeguarding your health and to protect the environment,” AMA’s executive director Ben Stapley said.

There are several easy ways pet owners and farmers can safely and responsibly dispose of unwanted and old medicines. 

“The Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project provides an easy, free avenue to clean out your kitchen, pantry and bathroom drawers,” Stapley said.

“Firstly, read the labels on all those unused medicines and consider if your pet still needs them. Check the expiry date then place all unneeded meds in a bag or container for safe transport and return them to your local pharmacy, where your pharmacist will put them in a secure bin for disposal.” 

Farmers looking to safely dispose of vet meds also have convenient disposal options at hand. 

“Farmers tend to have larger quantities of vet meds to dispose of because of the size and number of their animals,” Stapley said. 

“Leftover medicines in one litre containers or less, can be disposed of at participating pharmacies in Australia through the RUM project. 

“Larger quantities in containers holding one litre or more may be eligible for Agsafe’s ClemClear® program, which is also free for products carrying the drumMUSTER logo.” 

As with human medicines, keeping expired vet meds in the home or on-farm for possible DIY diagnosis at a later date is never a good idea.

“Self-diagnosing your pet, unless you are a trained veterinarian, can delay vital medical treatment your pet may need,” Stapley said. 

“Similarly, using expired animal medicines may be ineffectual or even dangerous so if you have a sick animal, always consult your vet. And when it comes to those old veterinary medicines lying about the place, a good rule of thumb is if in doubt, dispose of it responsibly.” 

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