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“Central Minnesota has been identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a shortage area for poultry vets,” Olsen said.
The FDA’s Flynn concedes that the logistics of connecting with vets to write antibiotic prescriptions or otherwise approve antibiotic distributions is a “potential practical problem.” He says his agency is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to try to find solutions.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is not yet sure how application of the new antibiotic program will affect its current job inspecting 247 feed mills in the state that mix medications with their products.
Dr. Heidi Kassenborg, a vet who directs the state’s dairy and food inspection, expects an increased workload because the only two drugs now require veterinary oversight, while the new program adds a half-dozen classes of drugs with several products in each class.
“We’ll try to do education first,” Kassenborg said of the state’s efforts to reach out to the agricultural community. “Our goal is compliance, not enforcement.”
Jim Spencer • 202-383-6123
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