Vets across France were on strike yesterday in protest at a new law which will which restrict their ability to administer drugs.

 

Their union, the Syndicat National des Vétérinaires d'Exercice Libéral (SNVEL), which represents 40% of independent veterinary businesses, says between 8,000-9,000 vets marched in Paris.

 

It is the first time the union has taken strike action and vets only treated emergency cases in protest at plans to limit antibiotic use contained in a new agriculture law passing through parliament.

 

The two ministers involved, Health Minister Marisol Touraine and Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll, agreed to meet them but, despite the offending section of the law being deleted, the vets continued their strike to ensure that it was not reinserted later.

 

They said future meetings would be a base to discuss the reduction in the use of antibiotics which needed to be brought under control.

 

Ministers say that the government's Écoantibio programme over the past five years has seen the amount of antibiotics used in the veterinary sector drop by 40