IMG_20170406_203623_556This is a message to farmers who take up the role of the veterinarian, please let the vet do his/her work! It is very discouraging when the vet visits your farm and finds a simple disease affecting your cow that can be cured by a simple antibiotic but due to the concoction of antibiotics in your medicine cabinet that you have been administering to your cow, the symptoms persist no matter what he tries and this leaves the vet a very frustrated fellow. On top of all that, when he takes a sample to the lab for culture and sensitivity, he finds out that the bacteria affecting your cow is resistant to most of the locally available antibiotics (which is your fault by the way), so he tells you that the drug that he is going to use is a bit expensive and because you are a miser you slaughter the animal and sell it in your village. Mind you, you have not observed the withdrawal period and neither did you call a meat inspection officer to inspect the meat. And if you are reading this and you are not a farmer but one of those who buy such meat then you are part of the problem.

If the manufacture of drugs is restricted and the individuals selling them are required to be licensed by the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons board, why then are there less strict rules on the purchase of these drugs, more so veterinary drugs?

In the dawn of antibiotic resistance, purchase of veterinary drugs should be limited to veterinarians and only allowed to individuals with a veterinarian’s prescription. An agro vet should not be a place where every Tom, Dick and Harry walks in and buys a bottle of injectable Amoxicillin. I mean, unless the veterinarian has done proper culture and sensitivity test for whatever microorganism that is disturbing your cow, and has prescribed a particular antibiotic, you have no business buying an antibiotic so that you can go and play a guessing game with your cow which will eventually succumb to the disease.

My message is very simple and clear, let vets do their work. Veterinary medicine is in itself quite a challenge, don’t make the practice worse.

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