Friday, October 26, 2012

Does your Ranch have Solid Veterinary Advice?

The 10th International Scientific Congress in fur animal production was held Aug. 21-14 in Copenhagen, Denmark. A preconference workshop for veterinarians was held just prior to the congress attracting veterinarians from all over the fur producing world. CMBA encouraged the participation of several veterinarians from North America. Dr. Dave MacHattie from Middleton Veterinarian Services, Dr.Randall Bishop from Cornwallis Veterinarians Ltd. and Dr. Gord Finley, CMBA Consultant all attended from Nova Scotia. In addition, Dr. John Easley and Dr. Hugh Hildebrand from Wisconsin, Dr. Ken Johnson from Manitoba and OVC staff also participated.
The workshop provided an excellent networking opportunity for vets working in the mink industry and allowed them a rare opportunity to get further training from Danish vets specializing in mink pathology. Over the next few months I would encourage you to chat with one of the NS vets. They brought home some great ideas.

Here in NS there is a Mink Ranch Health Program available through the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture to encourage mink breeders to utilize the professional services of a veterinarian, on a regular basis, for the maintenance and improvement of ranch mink health, through the application of the principles of bio-security and preventative medicine.  Although a few ranchers are currently taking advantage of the program, many more could benefit from it. For more information, click  In addition, the  NSDA has a pathologist, Dr. Carolyn Legge,  in the Path Lab in Bible Hill who can work with your local vet to diagnose specific disease pathogens and health issues that you may face on your ranch. 

The new Code of Practice for mink is expected to be finalized late this fall. Ranchers can expect a requirement in the code that producers establish a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Although few veterinarians in NS are actively involved in mink production, it is important that ranchers have a herd vet to call on, both for regular herd health visits and for emergencies. The CMBA recognizes the shortage of qualified vets practicing in Mink, and is actively working towards solutions to the shortage. In the meantime, be aware that both Dr. John Easley and Dr. Hugh Hildebrand in Wisconsin and Dr. Gord Finley are all still available for consultation when your local vet is not.

For more information, contact Nancy        

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