Medication shortages for farm animals

By Johnathan Houle – Special to The Record
Medication shortages for farm animals
(Photo : Angus Mackinnon)

With the world of medicine focusing on providing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, several key sectors of the industry have seen issues with their supply, one of them being the medicine for dairy cows.

“There has been a shortage of antibiotics on the market.” Said Angus Mackinnon, Director of Holstein Canada. “The shortage has been caused by three factors; the first being the pandemic and supply chain issues; the second is the discontinuation of certain drugs, and the third is the government regulation around certain drugs.”

The primary cause of the shortage that occurred in 2021 was not a logistical issue, but rather a manufacturing one. According to Mackinnon, “One of our major suppliers is part of the Pfizer group and they have put a lot of focus on the COVID vaccinations and have prioritized that rather than the traditional products they’ve been producing.” A drop in supply while demand remained stable meant that there were shortages in the antibiotic markets. These shortages could have been combated by the numerous alternative products and medications offered by different drug companies. However, government regulations around medicating farm animals have become more stringent over the last few years.
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