Industry News

As of December 1, 2018, livestock producers will need a veterinary prescription to access medically important antimicrobials

November 25, 2018

As of December 1, 2018, livestock producers will need a veterinary prescription to access medically important antimicrobials (view medication list https://bit.ly/2R7OAtq).

Due to changes by Health Canada, these antimicrobials will no longer be sold at authorized medicine sales outlets (e.g. farm supply stores). Producers will only be able to access them via a prescription through veterinary clinics, pharmacies or mixes in feed from commercial feed mills. More information can be found on the Small Ruminant Veterinarians of Ontario website (www.srvo.ca).

Finding a veterinarian

The new policy may cause little change in the daily operations of some farms, however, there could be growing pains as producers, feed mills and veterinarians adapt. A key factor in ensuring a smooth transition is for producers to have a valid Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship with a licensed veterinarian.

To find a small ruminant veterinarian near you please visit the Small Ruminant Veterinarians of Ontario (SRVO) website (http://srvo.ca/members/). The SRVO website includes licensed veterinarians who – as SRVO members – have a special interest in small ruminants. For a complete list of veterinarians in your area, visit https://onlineservice.cvo.org/webs/cvo/register/#/.

Planning ahead for medication use:

After December 1, producers will not need to have an individual prescription for every bottle of antibiotic they buy, and veterinarians will not have to administer all medications. Ensuring medications are on-hand when needed, however, means that producers need to work with their veterinarian to develop a VCPR, establish a prevention-based flock health program, develop standard operating procedures, plan and track their medication and prescription inventories. Together, producers and veterinarians can establish ahead of time what medications will likely be required during a given period (e.g. during lambing). The veterinarian will write a standing prescription to cover the anticipated amount of medication needed to cover the given time frame so that producers can buy medications in advance and have them on hand, before they are needed.

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