Most livestock producers are aware that significant changes are coming to how they’ll access antibiotic medication for animals as of December 1, 2018. Beginning then, several commonly used antibiotic medications (especially those important for human medicine) will no longer be available through your feed or animal supply store, instead being accessible only through your veterinarian.
The new rules are part of a larger effort to curb development of antibiotic resistance through improper or unnecessary use of antibiotics in livestock production.
Limiting access to a long list of medications is only one aspect of this initiative — educating farmers on proper use, dosing, and medication selection is a major component of tackling antibiotic resistance. In Ontario, farmers can now access a set of fact sheets through the Farmed Animal Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative (FAAST).
FAAST aims to tackle resistance head-on through education, collaboration, and engagement across the value chain, and is a joint effort between the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, government, academic, and industry partners.
The initiative’s mission is to help Ontario veterinarians, farmed animal owners, and their representative organizations:
- improve antimicrobial stewardship in farmed animals;
- prepare for upcoming policy and regulatory changes; and,
- preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials without compromising animal health or food safety
For example, farm animal owners can read up on the issue of antibiotic resistance, the vet-client relationship, working with commercial feeds, and own-use importation rules through the various FAAST sheets.
You can access the FAAST sheets here.