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Welcome to the Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW
The Board is an independent State Government Statutory Corporation. It is responsible under the Veterinary Practice Act 2003, for registering Veterinary Practitioners and Veterinary Specialists, Licensing Veterinary Hospitals and investigating complaints about the practice of Veterinary Science in NSW.
This site provides information to the Veterinary Practitioners of New South Wales, Veterinary Practitioners from other States and Territories in Australia and overseas, other government departments and consumers of Veterinary Services.
Details of veterinary practitioners, veterinary specialists and veterinary hospitals are available by using the search facility by pressing the blue seach button below the menu on the left hand side of page.
Board News Nov 2013
Up-scheduling of Alprazolam to Schedule 8 - 28 November 2013
Alprazolam Fact Sheet for Veterinary Practitioners
In response to the increasing illicit use of alprazolam and evidence of physical and psychological symptoms of alprazolam dependence, alprazolam is to be up-scheduled from Schedule 4 to Schedule 8 of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons on 1 February 2014.
Consequently alprazolam will become a Schedule 8 drug (drug of addiction) in the NSW Poisons List as of 1 February 2014.
The up-scheduling of alprazolam to Schedule 8 will apply to all forms and preparations of alprazolam. Currently available alprazolam products include: Alprax, Alprazolam Sandoz, Alprazolam-GA, Chemmart Alprazolam, GenRx Alprazolam, Kalma, Ralozam, Terry White Chemists Alprazolam, and Xanax tablets.
From 1 February 2014, as a result of this scheduling amendment, veterinary practitioners registered in NSW will need to store, handle and record all alprazolam products as a Schedule 8 preparation, noting the following:
- 1. Unauthorised possession of alprazolam is an offence. A veterinary practitioner must issue a signed order to their wholesaler before they can be supplied with any drug of addiction. The signed order is cancelled and retained by the supplier. If a drug of addiction is ordered by telephone the signed order must be forwarded to the supplier within 24 hours.
- 2. Alprazolam, as is the case with all drugs of addiction, must be stored apart from all other goods in a separate room, safe, cupboard, or drawer that is securely fixed to the premises and kept locked when not in immediate use. The intention is that this room, safe, drawer or cupboard should be accessed only to obtain drugs of addiction.
- 3. An entry must be made in a drug register to record the receipt, supply or use of alprazolam on the day that such a transaction takes place. The register must be kept on the premises on which the drugs of addiction are stored and must be retained for a period of two years from the date of the last entry.
- 4. If stock of alprazolam becomes unwanted or is out of date, it may be destroyed under the supervision of a police officer; by an authorised officer of the Ministry of Health (phone Pharmaceutical Services Unit on (02) 9391-9944); or by a retail pharmacist in the presence of the veterinary practitioner either at the latter's premises or at the pharmacy. In all cases the destruction must be recorded in the practitioner's drug register, signed and dated by the person carrying out the destruction and co-signed by the practitioner.
- 5. Prescriptions issued for alprazolam must be endorsed with the words: "FOR ANIMAL TREATMENT ONLY". Prescriptions for Schedule 8 drugs are valid for 6 months only and must bear the name, address and telephone number of the veterinary practitioner (this may be pre-printed), and must include in ink, in the veterinary practitioner's legible handwriting, the following particulars:
- (i) the date on which it is written;
- (ii) the name and address of the animal's owner, and the species of animal;
- (iii) the name, strength and quantity of the drug of addiction to be dispensed. The quantity must be written in both words and figures;
- (iv) adequate directions for use;
- (v) the number of repeats, if the prescription is to be dispensed more than once;
- (vi) in the case of a prescription to be dispensed more than once, the time interval between repeat dispensing; and
- (vii) the actual signature of the veterinary practitioner.
- All details other than (i) and (ii) on a computer-generated prescription for a drug of addiction must also be handwritten by the veterinary practitioner.
- A separate prescription form is required for each preparation containing a drug of addiction. No other item may be written on the same form (including no other preparation containing a drug of addiction).
- 6. If any drug of addiction is lost or stolen, the veterinary practitioner must immediately notify Pharmaceutical Services by using the online form found at:
- 7. A veterinary practitioner may supply a drug of addiction for use in the course of animal treatment ONLY. A veterinary practitioner must not prescribe or supply any drug of addiction in a quantity, or for a purpose, that does not accord with the recognised therapeutic standard of what is appropriate in the circumstances.
Information about the up-scheduling of alprazolam (as well as other relevant information for veterinary practitioners) is available on the Ministry's web site:
For further information, clarification or advice please do not hesitate to contact the Duty Senior Pharmaceutical Officer at the Pharmaceutical Services Unit, Ministry of Health on (02) 9391-9944.
Racing NSW Licensing - 25 November 2013
Racing NSW proposed to introduce a scheme to license veterinary practitioners working with racehorses in February 2012. Representatives from the Board, AVA, EVA and Racing NSW attempted to negotiate a process whereby complaints against veterinary practitioners by Racing NSW could be expedited to address some of the concerns held by Racing NSW at the time. Information on these discussions was published in Boardtalk; President's Report May 2012 and President's Report May 2013 and Registrar's Report May 2013. Unfortunately a resolution was not achieved and recently Racing NSW has released a new rule of racing requiring veterinary practitioners to be licensed. Implementation of this rule has now been deferred until 15 January 2014 to allow for more negotiations to take place between the Board, AVA, EVA and Racing NSW.
The Board is now waiting for Racing NSW to provide a series of scenarios detailing their major concerns so that the Board, AVA, EVA and Racing NSW can create a series of mutually acceptable solutions. The Board is seeking legal advice to ensure that any negotiated solutions remain compliant with our legislation and other relevant legislation.
The Board believes that optimum animal welfare outcomes and the maintenance of the high professional standards of the veterinary services provided to racing will be achieved through both statutory bodies working together with the AVA and EVA using the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 and the Veterinary Practice Regulations 2006
The Board has significant concerns with the proposed licence application form and the new rule and the Board recommends that veterinary practitioners seek independent legal advice before submitting an application for a licence.
Board News Oct 2013
NRVR in Queensland - 18 October 2013
The Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland has now joined New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria in recognising veterinarians with registration in other Australian States and Territories (National Recognition of Veterinary Registration or NRVR). NRVR operates under the same principles in each of these jurisdictions.
For more details please view the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland website.
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Board News Sep 2013
The Veterinary Practice Regulation 2013 (NSW) - 10 September 2013
The Veterinary Practice Regulation 2006 (NSW) has been repealed and replaced with the Veterinary Practice Regulation 2013 (NSW) The full regulation can be viewed at the NSW Legislation website.
Here is a brief outline of the major changes:
- 1. Restricted Acts of Veterinary Science
- i. The castrating of camels, deer, American bison, water buffalo and blackbuck that are 6 months of age or older is now a restricted act of veterinary science
- ii. The insertion of a microchip into a horse is now a restricted act of veterinary science
- iii. Any treatment, procedure or test that involves the insertion of anything into the urethra of any animal is now a restricted act of veterinary science
- iv. An insertion in to the left flank of cattle or sheep to puncture the rumen for the purpose of relieving acute bloat is NOT a restricted act of veterinary science
- 2. Veterinary Practitioners Code of Professional Conduct
- i. If a record of a consultation, procedure or treatment is altered, the alteration must be clearly identified in the record
- ii. Authority for another veterinary practitioner to supply a restricted substance to a client must be provided in writing by a veterinary practitioner who has physically examined the animal concerned or has the animal under his or her direct care, and only in respect of that animal
If you have any questions in relation to these or other changes please contact the staff at the Board.
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