Pet stores are now able to offer vaccinations for pets for free if they ask for them, as well as a range of other vaccinations, including vaccines for HIV and pneumonia.
The move comes as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced on Wednesday that it had been granted a licence to offer vaccines to more than 2,500 stores, including petrol stations and supermarkets.
It has also been allowed to provide the same vaccines to a range the pharmacies and pet shops, but has restricted it to those pharmacies and those shops that use the same vaccination programme.
The move means that, unlike before, there are no restrictions on how many of a given vaccine a store can have.
The FSA said that the licensing decision means that pharmacies and other pet shops can offer vaccinations to customers free of charge, without having to pay for them.
“The decision has the potential to greatly increase the supply of free vaccinations in the pet supply chain and ensure that pet owners can have the health and safety benefits of vaccinations at their fingertips,” said David Taylor, the FSA’s general manager of the UK and Ireland.
“There is now the potential for more people to have the benefits of vaccines at their disposal, and for pharmacies to offer free vaccinations for customers without having their prices increased.”
Pet owners are already able to get the same vaccinations at some pharmacies and shops, with pharmacies charging pet owners a fee for the same ones they sell.
Pet owners can use the vaccinations provided to them at their own risk.
“It is essential that pet shops and pet supply stores offer free vaccination for their customers to ensure that people have access to vaccinations that are of high quality,” Taylor said.
“If you have a pet and you are unsure about vaccination, you should speak to your veterinarian.”