If you have an animal bitten by an adder and urgently need adder antiserum then please visit the ToxBox section and find out how antivenom can be obtained in an emergency.

Currently there is no authorised product in the UK to treat adder bites in animals, and the human product has to be imported, therefore you will need to obtain a Special Treatment Certificate (STC), see below.

The VMD is currently accepting applications to import European Viper Antiserum from Lekcom (Biomed, Poland) and the Institute of Immunology, Zagreb (Croatia) but note that the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb is no longer manufacturing the antiserum. The VMD recommends that, before submitting an application veterinary surgeons contact the relevant manufacturer to ensure it is able to supply the quantity of product they wish to import.

Procurement options are as follows:

Urgent procurement

This remains difficult, but the following could be tried:

  • Contact the VPIS to find out the location of your nearestToxBox practice. For more information on the ToxBox scheme please click here.
  • Contact local veterinary practices to see if they can help.
  • Contact your local hospital and see if they will help.
  • In office hours, if feasible, contact the wholesalers (below) and see if it can be obtained urgently.
  • It is possible that a special dispensation can be made to purchase the antivenom without a STC, click here for more information on the VMD website. Sam Ward at the VMD (01932 338496) may be able to advise further.

Clinical trial for veterinary adder antivenom – invitation to take part (postponed until further notice)

ViperaVet, Europe’s first dedicated veterinary snake antivenom, is directed against the venom of four medically important Vipera species found throughout Western Europe, including the European adder. Participants in the trial will be provided with antivenom free of charge and will be remunerated for their time on return of a comprehensive clinical questionnaire. The antivenom is supplied in advance and not for emergency cases.

For more information please contact Fiona Bolton at fiona.bolton@micropharm.co.uk

Non-urgent procurement

You will need to obtain a Special Treatment Certificate (STC) from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). This can be downloaded from the VMD website (please click here). Once completed a hard copy should be sent to:

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Woodham Lane
New Haw
Addlestone
Surrey
KT15 3LS
Tel: 01932 336911

Once granted, you will be able to use this STC to order as many vials as you would like. The animal details do not need to be completed but will have to be provided retrospectively and sent to the VMD whenever the product is used.

Currently two companies have been issued with Wholesale Dealers Import Certificates (WDICs):

Centaur Services
Torbay Road
Castle Cary
Somerset
BA7 7EU
Tel: 01963 350005
email: enquiries@cvws.co.uk
website: www.centaurweb.co.uk
Open: Mon-Fri 8.30am-6.30pm
This supplier stocks adder antivenom in one vial boxes. No out-of-hours or urgent delivery service but orders can be taken up to 9 pm (if you have an account) for next day delivery. Pet owner could possibly collect it.

National Veterinary Supplies Ltd
Unit 4 Jamage Industrial Estate
Jamage Road
Talke Pits
Stoke on Trent
ST7 1XW
Tel: 01782 771100
Website: www.vetwholesaler.co.uk
Open: Mon-Fri 8.30am-7pm Sun 8-10am
Orders can be placed up to 8pm Monday to Friday for next working day delivery. Orders can be placed all day Saturday and up until 10am Sunday by computer, fax or answer phone for Monday delivery.

Contact details for manufacturers

Lekcom (BIOMeD) Warsaw
Wytwornia Surowic i szczepionek
BIOMeD Ltd
Ul Chelmska 30/34
00-725 Warsaw, Poland,
Telephone: +48 22 841 4071
Website: http://biomed.com.pl/

Institute of Immunology
Rockefellerova 2
10000 Zagreb
Croatia
Telephone: +385 1 46 84 500
Website: http://www.imz.hr/