The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced an interim decision that they will not amend the Poison Standard Regulations, denying animals access to medicinal cannabis.

Animal health care service provider, Endocannabinoid System Veterinary Centre (eCS Vet), last year applied to the TGA asking for an amendment to the wording for the S8 CANNABIS and TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL entries, changing them from “human therapeutic use” to “human or animal therapeutic use”.

The rewording would enable the expansion of the veterinary treatment paradigm in Australia, provide safe access to cannabis products for veterinary patients, and improve the support for pet owners.

Dr Marta Calvo Blanco DVM, Head of Veterinary Operations at eCS Vet, said the simple change in wording would have a huge effect on the welfare of animals in the Australia.

“It will give the animals the possibility of accessing life-changing medications through the control and support of their vets. This would have a great impact not only in Australia but all around the world, as many countries are in a similar situation and will be watching Australia carefully.”

The TGA decided against the word change, stating that the benefits associated with cannabis use have not been adequately established and are outweighed by the risks.

Dr Blanco said eCS Vet disagrees with the reasoning of TGA’s decision, saying the TGA is differentiating between doctors and veterinarians, and despite dogs, cats and humans all being different, at the end we are all animals.

“The TGA agrees that the quality control of products containing Schedule 8 substances is well-regulated and has no concerns that this would also not be true for veterinary preparations,” she said.

During the pre-meeting consultation period, TGA received 35 written submissions in response to the public notice. Of these 35, 30 were in support, two were partially supportive, and three were opposed.