Responsible veterinary product management

Resistance to medication and treatments is a massive problem in animal and human health today. There is little doubt that at least some of this resistance has developed because of irresponsible and, in some cases, ignorant handling of veterinary products. Every livestock farmer bears the responsibility of taking this aspect of management very seriously.

Livestock management embraces a holistic approach to animal health. Stock managers need to be alert during daily inspection of herds and flocks, as early diagnosis of disease means early treatment, which gives the medication a good chance of working towards a quick recovery. Dips, dewormers and vaccines are applied according to a seasonal schedule, which the farmer should work out with his vet every year. 

Ratselane Marumo, sales and marketing manager at Afrivet, says management of medication and other veterinary products plays an important role in animal health. “Products must be stored properly to retain their efficacy,” he emphasises. “Some must be stored out of direct sunlight, some must be refrigerated and some must be stored under lock and key for safety reasons.” 

Above all it is important always to read the package inserts that accompany the products. These inserts contain information about the products as well as directions on dosage and administration methods. Marumo cautions that failure to administer treatment correctly can cause production losses and animal deaths. If there is the slightest doubt or hesitation about dosage or method, the package insert is the best way to get the necessary details. 

Product storage rooms should be clean and dry, and contain a fridge. Vaccines may not be effective if they are not stored at the recommended temperatures; antibiotics are heat sensitive; and many products are light sensitive. Managers should try to keep products of the same class together to avoid confusion and run regular product stock checks. 

Diligent and responsible veterinary product management is part of farm biosecurity and helps the farmer get the best value from these products. 

For more information, visit www.afrivet.co.za

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