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Update on new FDA antimicrobial policy – A meeting for cattle owners was held at Dee River Ranch on Tuesday, October 21st in Pickens County.  Roughly, 50 cattlemen and cattlewomen were on hand from five counties in West Alabama.  The new FDA antimicrobial policy mainly affects cattle owners by increasing the difficulty to acquire chlortetracycline to manage a cattle health disease called Anaplasmosis. 


The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has had several meetings in West Alabama discussing this blood disease.  The last meeting was held in Livingston at the University of West Alabama in January of 2011.  Dr. Lew Strickland, Acting Extension Veterinarian at the time explained in great detail the issues and the economic losses associated with this disease.  Anaplasma marginale is transmitted from carrier to susceptible cattle by biting flies and ticks (arthropod vector transmission) or via contaminated needles, tattoo instruments, or dehorning and castration equipment (iatrogenic transmission). Ticks are more likely to spread the disease from one herd to another, while horse flies usually require closer proximity of infected and susceptible animals. Stable flies can also transmit the disease but probably not as effectively as horse flies. This information is taken from an Extension publication ANR-0777, Bovine Anaplasmosis
At Dee River Ranch, Dr. Soren Rodning, DVM, MS, Extension Veterinarian and Associate Professor at Auburn University Department of Animal Sciences was our speaker.  He covered many topics that were related to the new FDA antimicrobial policy
The main outcome of the policy is that cattle owners will have to have a prescription from a veterinarian to purchase chlortetracycline at some point in the future.  Many cattle owners conduct most of their own herd health practices without hiring a veterinarian to perform these basic herd health practices.  In most cases cattle owners could greatly benefit from working closely with a knowledgeable veterinarian.  However, cattle owners are trying to watch costs; therefore they forego calling the veterinarian and making a plan.  This is where Zoetis and Billy Arrighi Sales representative for Zoetis have stepped in an offer to assist.  Mr. Arrighi was present and talked briefly about a program that they will pay veterinarians to assist a cattle owners to make a herd heath plan for those cattle producers that do not currently have a plan.  To find out more about this Zoetis program contact Billy Arrighi.



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