Find-A-Vet is a timely tool created by GlobalVetLINK that assists U.S. pig farmers who are searching for a veterinarian for their animals. The Pork Checkoff, collaborating with the Ames, Iowa-based company, is making this online tool more accessible to all producers by linking it directly to the Pork Checkoff’s homepage at pork.org.
The online tool allows animal owners to quickly find a veterinarian in their area who offers services, such as the establishment of a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) and/or a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Both a VCPR and a VFD will be necessary to use many in-feed antibiotics starting on Jan. 1, 2017. To use Find-A-Vet, producers will need to enter their ZIP code to search for the veterinarians closest to their location.
“This is just another example of how the Pork Checkoff is trying to help make the adjustment in antibiotic regulations easier for all producers,” said National Pork Board President Jan Archer, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “While many of us already have a well-established working relationship with a veterinarian, we know some producers and youth exhibitors who live in places with few pigs may not have easy access to veterinary help. We hope this tool will help with that potential scenario.”
Dr. Dave Pyburn, senior vice-president of science and technology at the Pork Checkoff, says that having a valid VCPR is critical as we enter 2017 because that’s the only way you can legally obtain a VFD for in-feed antibiotics or a prescription for medications used via water, as required by FDA regulations.
“Exploring the information on the Antibiotics Resource Center on the pork.org website is a good way to learn more about specific issues and scenarios related to the new regulations,” Pyburn said. “With less than a month to go, the Checkoff is continuing to expand its materials and information to assist producers in this momentous change in how antibiotics are used and obtained. If everyone takes these steps now, we’ll be ready to go Jan. 1.”