HealthforAnimals joins the global veterinary and medical communities in their opposition to proposed restrictions on the use of ketamine

HealthforAnimals joins the global veterinary and medical communities in their opposition to proposed restrictions on the use of ketamine

14/03/2016

On 16-20 November 2015, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will hold a meeting, where they will consider placing ketamine on Schedule I of the 1971 UN Convention on psychotropic substances.

This re-classification will restrict the availability of ketamine. Ketamine is an important anaesthesia and it is used for veterinary medical interventions and to restrain dangerous animals. It is an important part of the veterinarian’s toolkit. HealthforAnimals opposes initiatives to restrict ketamine availability as this will severely undermine the ability to provide effective and cost effective care for animals. The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) evaluated ketamine in 2006, 2012 and 2014.

It did not recommend placing ketamine under international control. HealthforAnimals supports the decision of WHO ECDD not to recommend ketamine scheduling. The HealthforAnimals position is in line with that of the World Medical Association (WMA), the World Veterinary Association (WMA), the World Small Animal Veterinarians Association (WSAVA) and many others. Fact sheets on ketamine are available at the WVA site.