The Morley municipal office last week was filled to capacity with farmers from across the district looking to learn about their animals' health.
“It was awesome. I was really shocked by the number of people we actually had in attendance," said Dr. Stacey Angus, host of the "Vet Night” event.
“We were a full house," she added. "We used every chair in the building.”
About 50 people were on hand last Tuesday to get information on a number of relevant topics from a licensed veterinarian.
Since the district is in the midst of calving season, Dr. Angus focused on content related to calf health.
She also discussed the new law changes for antimicrobial purchasing—a topic many on hand were curious to learn more about.
“People had lots of questions about the new antimicrobial regulations and how it affects them,” Dr. Angus remarked.
The changes are putting an increased restriction on what drugs can be purchased in the U.S. and brought back to Canada.
“They want more vet oversight to help [reduce] antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance,” Dr. Angus explained.
Apart from the information, Dr. Angus also said the event was great for getting the farming community to reconnect with each another.
“With calving season, most people are stuck in the barn and don't get out much,” she noted.
“So it's nice to get out and just have a friendly community visit but also pick up [on some new information], think a little bit about what they're doing, and how they can make improvements with their herd and their protocols,” she remarked.
“We really talked about getting back to the basics of what you need to do to have healthy animals.”
“Vet Night” focused on preventive medicine and looked at what farmers can do to avoid having sick animals.
“We talked about vaccines and vaccination protocols, different products that are available, and new things that are coming up,” Dr. Angus said.
She also discussed bio-security, cleanliness, sanitation, and what farmers can do to keep bugs and pathogens off of their farms.
These preventive measures not only help to relieve the medical system of sick animals, but also relieve a farmer of the stresses related to the health of their livestock.
“If you put in a bit of money up front for prevention, then you're not treating sick animals and not having death loss or anything like that,” Dr. Angus explained.
“It is definitely better for the producers' mental well-being, as well as their pockets.”
Dr. Angus, meanwhile, plans on hosting similar events over the next few months to continue educating farmers about animal health and medicine.
“I'm hoping to make this event ongoing, every couple of months, have different topics and different subjects, to get everybody out,” she remarked.
“I've started planning the next one already," she added. "I'm hoping to get a bit of a nutrition focus on it.”
Dr. Angus would like to host that event in early May, before the animals get out on the grass, so farmers can find the time to attend.
She was very happy with the turnout of last Tuesday's “Vet Night” and looks forward to hosting many more throughout the year.