A meeting was recently held to discuss the upcoming changes to antimicrobial use in farm animals.

The event was put on by Alberta Farm Animal Care on April 30th at Olds College, and Beef Production Specialist with the Alberta Beef Producers, Karin Schmid, was in attendance.

Schmid said, as of December 1, 2018, producers will need a prescription before buying a medically important antibiotic for livestock production.

"So the best thing to do is actually sit down with your vet and create a herd health protocol, and going through some of the production records and how your operation works. They can indeed anticipate the need for products whether it's for scours or foot rot."

She gives the example of an operation having about five foot rot cases needing antibiotic treatment per year. The vet could then write you a prescription for the bottle of antibiotics you need right away, and then prescribe refills for up to a year.

These changes mean producers likely won't be able to swing by a farm supply store and purchase products such as tetracycline, penicillin, scour boluses, and sulfa drugs without a prescription, Schmid said.

"These are federal changes coming down from Health Canada, moving all these products to the prescription drug list, so it's important to get the word out to producers, especially if they haven't been working with a vet a regular basis, because they will need to."

She adds, these changes don't include ionophores like rumensin or monensin.

Read more about the coming changes:

 

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