In disaster situations, well-meaning donations of medicines for animals can unintentionally place a burden on those receiving the medicines. These medicines are often unneeded or ineffective - and can even be dangerous.

It is better for organisations that need medicines to purchase them from a wholesaler or pharmacy to ensure the right medicines are safely supplied for animals that need them.

Safely disposing of medicines that aren't used can actually be quite expensive.

In most instances it is unlawful for medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, dentists and veterinary practitioners to supply prescription medicine to other practitioners or for purposes other than the treatment of patients under their care. It is also unlawful for individuals to provide their own medication to others, even animals.

Options available to help make medicines available for animals include donating money to registered wildlife charities or veterinary clinics that are involved in the care of wildlife.