Forum > Fish Health Discussion.

Antibiotics and the UK Hobbyist


A couple of months ago a thread was raised in which there was some discussion about the use of antibiotics (in this case, specifically, to combat Cyanobacteria, aka Blue-Green Algae) in our aquariums.

Although the rules seems to be clear enough about the supply of antibiotics to end-users in the UK (i.e. that they may be sourced only via a doctor or a veterinary surgeon or a similarly-qualified professional) my reading suggested that in some people's minds there is a 'loophole' through which it might be quasi-legal to source them via an offshore, online vendor.  The thread, referenced above, also alluded to the possibility of legally-prescribed antibiotics being diverted for use in an aquarium. I felt that the position needed clarification. So ...

In the interim I have had correspondence with Bijal Mistry, of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, who was kind enough to answer my questions and to provide some text that I may relay to our community here :

"In veterinary medicine there has not been an exemption for personal use since the mid 90’s. Therefore when obtaining antibiotics, it needs to be against a valid prescription from a UK authorised premise."

"The same rules of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) apply when purchasing antibiotics online. To be able to legally supply veterinary medicines in the UK via the internet, it must be supplied via a UK authorised premise and have the appropriate registered qualified persons for the distribution category, against a valid prescription.

Under the VMR it is an offence to import and supply a veterinary medicine that is not authorised for use in the UK unless it’s supplied against a prescription from a vet and imported by a vet holding a suitable import certificate issued by the VMD.

The VMD has a working relationship with and we work together to remove posts that are advertising illegally or supply products illegally. If you wish to report anything, please use the following  link.

"It would be illegal [for a fishkeeper] to use antibiotics prescribed for his/her child in an aquarium."

Further, we are requested to amend or delete contextual references within forum threads which could encourage illegal activity ; so I will insert flags in the referenced thread as appropriate.


Hi Vale I have recently posted a couple of posts on the forum directing people to being able to buy API General cure containing Metronidazole on Amazon UK.
After reading your post I would like these post removing but obviously unable to myself. I don't want to encourage any illegal behaviour & posted with good intentions after I lost one of my fish to internal parasites & saw this on the web.
Please could you help with this.
Thanks in advance.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sure - I'll have a bash next time I'm on my PC. I'll edit in signposts to here rather than delete.


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