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Livestock producers accept vet drug changes

Livestock producers accept vet drug changes

New rules for certain antibiotics went into effect Dec. 1

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Canadian livestock producers now need a prescription from a veterinarian to access certain medications.

As of Dec. 1, farmers require paperwork to purchase items listed on the Prescription Drug List. Products on the list include acetaminophen and penicillin. 

Prior to Dec. 1, farmers could purchase these products from a local retailer without any documentation.

Whether or not getting certain medications through a veterinarian will be challenging is yet to be determined, but producers appear ready to follow the new regulations, said Ryder Lee, CEO of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.

“Where a farmer gets these medicines will change for some people,” he told Farms.com. “Most producers already have a good relationship with their vet, so I don’t see this being a big issue. But anyone who says they know for sure how this is all going to work out is guessing on the future. I think we have to go through the process for a few months first before we can make a judgement on how it’s working.”

Producers may also use this time to re-evaluate their relationship with their vet or considering getting a new one, Lee added.

Some producers are worried about the chance of unfair treatment, said Darlene Stein, a sheep producer from Barrhead, Alta.

"It opens the door for the opportunity to manipulate for personal gain," Stein told CBC Thursday. "There are people that don't have maybe the most ... benevolent intentions, and maybe they would be more about the financial gain."

Overall, however, producers are confident any issues with the new regulations will be isolated incidents.

The consensus among farmers is that the extra steps shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, said Rob Kerda, a beef producer from Ridgeville, Man. and director with Manitoba Beef.

“We’ve gone through a few meetings around the country and I feel this will be smooth sailing,” he told Farms.com. “You might see a bit of a price increase because you’re taking the product away from the retailer and moving it to the vet. If there are any issues, it’s going to be with such a small percentage of farmers that it won’t really be an issue.”

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