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How to tell if a Seresto collar is real or fake in the UK

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For over 150 years, Bayer has been an innovation company proud to provide effective pet healthcare solutions for our customers. To date, we have developed scientific and medical breakthroughs that have resulted in the creation of some of the most loved brands in Animal Health. Unfortunately, counterfeiters are taking advantage of our good reputation by selling fake products illegally, which not only may not work, but also may even harm your pet.
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Fake products may pose a health risk to you and your pet

Fighting to protect much-loved brands is a complex problem that no company can resolve alone. Companies like Bayer are working with the government, police, trade associations and others around the globe and across the industry to help ensure that our customers only receive genuine products.

Successful companies educate their customers on illegal trade, such as counterfeit products, imitations; foreign products unauthorised for sale, and tampered or repackaged products, and implement brand protection measures to protect the integrity of their brands.

An example of a fake Seresto collar:

The true cost of counterfeit Seresto collars
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An example of a fake Seresto collar
The true cost of counterfeit Seresto collars

Counterfeiters produce what looks like an exact copy of a product to trick you into buying it. This is an illegal, money making activity with little regard for the quality and effectiveness of the products or the harm they may cause. The fake products might appear like a great deal at the time, as the pricing often seems attractive, but the lack of safe, effective ingredients often leads to treatment or prevention failure, resulting in a much higher long-term cost.

Examples are products that:

  • contain the correct active ingredient, however, either at a dosage that is too high or too low,
  • contain no active ingredients,
  • have false expiry dates,
  • contain an active agent other than the one specified,
  • are wrapped in forged packaging, blisters and/or contain falsified patent information.

The wrong drug, no drug, or bad dosage can pose a serious health risk to both your pet and your family.

How to tell if a Seresto collar is real in the UK

There are a number of key features you should look for when identifying real Seresto Flea and Tick Control collars in the UK:

The tin:

  • Measure the tin – a real tin measures 12cm across
  • Genuine UK Seresto product features a tin which is printed all over on the lid, with a sticker on the back, NEVER a sliver tin with a sticker on the front and back
  • Printing on the lid is of high quality, NEVER with ‘fuzzy’ or poor-quality writing or spelling mistakes
  • The Seresto logo on the front of the tin is embossed, so that it feels raised under your fingers
  • The tin is sealed all the way around with a tamper proof seal, never with just a single round sticker
  • The inside of the tin lid is coloured, the colour depends on the product you have purchased: orange for cat, blue for small dog and red for large dog.
  • The side of the top of the tin features the Seresto logo printed all the way around it
  • The side of the bottom of tin has an image of a Seresto collar printed all the way around it
  • The back of the tin ALWAYS has a clear Lot number AND an expiry date on the sticker NEVER just one of these.
  • The legal category of NFA-VPS always features with a black line boxing it out.

The collar itself:

  • Always comes packaged in a clear plastic bag featuring the logo, active ingredients and legal text, never in just a clear bag or featuring foil
  • A product information leaflet is always inside the tin with the collar
  • When first opened, real Seresto features a white powdery residue, this is normal and is just stearic acid which helps free it from the mould during manufacturing
  • Real Seresto NEVER smells
  • Check the length of the collar: cat and small dog measure 38cm, large dog measures 70cm
  • Genuine product features a raised ridge along the entire length of the collar
  • Real Seresto collars always feature a safety release NOT a buckle
  • The Bayer logo appears on the collar itself in very small print on the cat collar between the safety breaking point and the first loop, on the large dog collar between the first and second loops
  • The Lot number is ALWAYS printed on the side of the collar, and should match what is printed on the back of the tin and the plastic wallet.
Key common features of fake Seresto collars
  • The tin is stickered front and back
  • The tin is too small
  • Poor-quality printing
  • Missing expiry date or Lot number or both
  • The collar smells
  • The collar features a buckle
  • Lot number and Bayer logo are missing from the collar

A fake Seresto collar with missing LOT number:

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A fake Seresto collar with missing Lot number
Where to buy Seresto safely

The internet is a great resource for consumers to buy products for many of the health and well-being needs of themselves, their families and pets. Unfortunately, it can also encourage the sale of counterfeit goods by cultivating an anonymous and global marketplace for illegal trade.

Many counterfeiters use our marketing assets such as pictures and videos obtained illegally to promote their imitation goods online and some even claim to contain the same active ingredients. These illegal products are designed to capitalise on brand confusion.

To ensure you are buying a real Seresto Flea and Tick Control collar, we recommend you purchase from your veterinary practice, a high street pet retailer or agricultural store. If you are buying online, we recommend using one of our official partners. View our official partners store now on our website.

Alternatively choose an online retailer who is part of the AIRS scheme. This is a scheme set up by the VMD, a government body who looks after the sale of animal medicines. The scheme ensures retailers who are registered comply with the legal requirements for selling animal medicines in the UK legitimately. To be part of the scheme retailers must:

  • sell only veterinary medicines authorised for sale in the UK
  • supply the medicines from appropriately registered or approved UK premises
  • properly prescribe and supply the most appropriate medicine to treat your pet’s disease or condition
  • advise you on how to use the medicine safely and on any contra-indications or warnings

To check if the outlet you are purchasing from is registered, look for the logo and registration number usually found in the footnotes of the site. You can also check on the VMD website here to see if the outlet is listed. We recommend avoiding buying products from private individuals.

This article focuses on what real products should look like. If you purchase from a retailer based outside the UK, take care, as packaging from different countries can vary which may make it very challenging to differentiate real from counterfeit Seresto. It can also be difficult to enforce your rights as a consumer if things go wrong when shopping abroad.

For more information on shopping and paying safely online visit: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/shop-safely-online

If you think you may have fallen victim to a counterfeiter and purchased a fake product, please do not put it on your animal, but instead report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk and to our technical team straight away on 0118 206 3000 or email animal.health@bayer.com.

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