In the first part of this two-part review on the availability of medicinal products for treatment of sheep and goats a survey is given on the drugs authorized in Austria for treatment of these species; deficits of drugs existing on the national market are identified. In the European Union (EU), food producing animal species are categorized as major food producing animals or minor food producing animals based on animal numbers and other factors (e.g. consumption data). Minor food producing animals, among others, comprise horses, rabbits, fin fish species (except Salmonidae), goats, and dairy sheep. There is a noticeable shortfall of registered products for treatment of small ruminants as minor food producing species. This deficit emerges primarily from the great efforts in research and high costs for the development required for a veterinary drug to be put on the market which, in the case of minor species, is accompanied by an uncertain commercial success. In Austria, an almost complete lack of therapeutics is evident for antiparasitic treatment of goats and, concerning both species, for local and general anaesthesia, sedation as well as for anti-inflammatory and antifungal treatment. Shortfalls exist also for the medication of small ruminants with cardiovascular disturbances. Regarding antibiotics no veterinary medicinal products containing cephalosporins, fluoqinolones, and florfenicol are authorized for treatment of small ruminants. A recent amendment of the Austrian Act on the Control of Veterinary Medicinal Products, which came into force on 29.12.2005, implements a three stage cascade principle in accordance with European legislation. This principle recognizes that where there is no authorized veterinary medicinal product available for the treatment of a condition in a particular species and where it is necessary to avoid causing unnecessary pain or suffering, a veterinary surgeon is permitted to use a veterinary medicine authorized in Austria or in an EU member state (i.e. import) for another condition in the same or for another species. In situations where there is no such veterinary medicine, he may use a medicinal product authorized for humans or a medicine prepared extemporaneously. Practical solutions with regard to existing pharmacotherapeutical problems for the treatment of sheep and goat applying the new cascade provisions for extra label use of veterinary and human products are given in the second part of this paper.