Industry experts offer tips to help pork producers make the transition
By Kaitlynn Anderson
This year, livestock producers across the country will make some changes to align their operations with Health Canada’s new regulations on drug use.
As of Dec. 1, farmers will require a prescription from a veterinarian in order to purchase products – including medicated feed – that contain items on the Prescription Drug List. This list will include all medically important antimicrobials (MIA), such as Penicillin G and Apramycin.
The government will also remove growth promotion claims from MIA labels and ensure all MIAs have responsible use statements, the government website states.
To help pork producers prepare for this legislation, some industry representatives offered helpful tips and information.
For instance, farmers may want to understand where they can buy their prescriptions.
“They'll have to purchase (the drugs) through a veterinarian or a pharmacist,” Mark Fynn, manager of quality assurance and animal care programs with Manitoba Pork, said in a Farmscape interview on Monday.
Producers will have to purchase any medicated feed from a commercial feed mill, he added.
Farmers who plan to mix medications into feed on their own will have to purchase those drugs from veterinary clinics, Dr. Mike Degroot, technical programs veterinarian with Ontario Pork, told Farms.com today.
Farmers will also want to ensure they have ongoing relationships with their herd veterinarians.
“Producers should make sure they’re consulting their veterinarians about current antibiotic use and the changes they’ll need to make going forward,” Degroot said. “Rather than just going through feed mills or farm stores for antibiotics, they’ll have to go through that process with their veterinarians.”
These relationships will be important, especially since some livestock producers have concerns about the accessibility of these drugs under the new regulations, he said.
Farmers can also focus on preventative health rather than reactive health, Dr. Jessica Law, a veterinarian with Prairie Swine Health Services in Alberta, said in the June edition of Better Pork.
As part of this shift, producers can look at “where they are using antibiotics and what problems (they) have … experienced in the past,” she said.
For more information on the new regulations, check out the April and June editions of Better Pork.
UPDATED MAY 30, 2018
Pork Checkoff photo