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  Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has approved regulations on the use of narcotic and psychotropic substances in veterinary medicine
The regulations concern narcotics from a Health Ministry-compiled list of substances allowed for use by licensed medical institutions. Under the document, the amount of narcotic and psychotropic substances available to the staff of a veterinary clinic shall not exceed a three-day need while the amount that a veterinary pharmacy's staff have on hand shall not be surpass a one-month need. The regulations ban the repackaging of narcotic and psychotropic substances and the replacement of the original marking notes. According to the document, injections involving such substances may be performed by authorized personnel only. Narcotic and psychotropic substances shall be stored in sealed safes and the leftovers unfit for further use shall be destroyed. Veterinary clinics and pharmacies shall carry out monthly inventory checks of the narcotic and psychotropic substances they have on hand. The Russian government has also prohibited the growing of certain plants containing narcotic substances, such as ephedra and cacti belonging to the species Lophora williamsii. A precise list of plants banned from growing is to be drawn up shortly. The use of narcotic substances in veterinary medicine has recently got into the spotlight amidst legal proceedings against doctors charged with the illegal use of ketamine while operating on animals. In 1998, the Ministry of Agriculture took ketamine off the list of drugs allowed for use in veterinary medicine. In 2003, the Narcotics Control Department inspected several veterinary clinics and had to launch investigations into the illegal use of ketamine at some of them. In January this year, the Agriculture Ministry and the Health Ministry ordered that ketamine be put back on the list of substances allowed for use in medicine, but until now, there has been no governmental decree to permit its use to veterinary doctors
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