Russia to Decriminalize Some Veterinary Drugs

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service said on Tuesday that it does not oppose expanding the list of narcotic substances permitted for veterinary use.

“The Agriculture Ministry and the Health Ministry may introduce changes into the list of narcotic and psychotropic substances allowed for use in veterinary medicine, and the FDCS has never objected to that,” the service said in a statement posted on its website.

One of the most controversial drugs currently banned for veterinary use is ketamine. It is used primarily for the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia and for putting down sick animals.

It was deemed illegal as an attempt to stem the use of it as a recreational drug.

The increase in illicit use prompted ketamine’s placement in Schedule III of the United States Controlled Substance Act in August 1999.

There have been numerous reports of veterinarians being prosecuted for using ketamine. In September, a St. Petersburg based veterinarian, Alexander Shpak, was sentenced to eight years in jail.

The agriculture and health ministries have long been pushing for its legalization in veterinary medicine.

“Prompt resolution of that issue will help take the edge off the problem and ensure humane treatment of animals in need of veterinary aid,” the FDCS said.


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