Cattle producers won't be able to buy certain medications for their herd for very much longer. Starting December 1st, producers will need a prescription for antibiotics for their livestock.

"The rules change," shared Kristin Caldwell, Chief of Veterinarian Operations for Prairie Animal Health Centre, "in terms of access for livestock producers to pick up products like penicillin and tetracycline. They're used to go to the feed store to pick up, that's now changing. As of December 1st, you will no longer be able to pick up products like tetracycline or penicillin or even medicated feed at a feed store. the only place you'll be able to pick up those medications is at a vet clinic."

This changes also means that vets will now have to visit the herd and diagnose health issues. 

"There are definitely rules around how we can prescribe these medications. The whole goal here is to protect human health and making sure the animals in the food chain are treated with antibiotics appropriately."

"Producers will need to have an active veterinarian-client relationship with their veterinarian. that means the vet will has to have been out to your herd, understand how you are managing your herd and what herd health problems that your herd sees. So we need to see every single patient with that disease? Not necessarily but we do need to have conversations and open dialogue and be able to be at your farm of origin at least once or twice a year."

"For those who it has been a while, that's going to change for you. It's not our rule but we do have to follow it."

Health Canada brought in the rule as a way to better guard the use of these antibiotics.

"As we are learning more about antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, we need to make sure that we do our due diligence in veterinarian medicine to protect humans from becoming resistant to certain antibiotics."

She added that this will also put more of a strain on the caseloads for vets as they now need to travel to more farms. 

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