Farmers should not be concerned about stocks of farm medicines or vaccines during the current pandemic, but do need to plan ahead.
Jules Dare of Westpoint Vets offers some advice. He says: “Now we have settled in the new pseudonormal there should not be any issues with the supply of medicines or vaccines, but orders may take longer to fulfil.
“In some cases this may be due to reduced staffing and social distancing. Vets and suppliers are still getting regular deliveries, but they may not be everyday as is usually the case and for the same reasons orders can take longer to process.
“Allow a little longer for medicines to be delivered or be available for collection. Instead of one or two days allow an extra three or four days. In the case of pre-planned vaccination programmes, rather than leaving it to the beginning of the week you want to vaccinate, order the week before. Also be aware of bank holidays as these may also cause delays.
“For medicines you use routinely it is advisable to carry a little more stock as a buffer in case there are any issues. Check availability of what you need before ordering and if for any reason it is not available speak to your own vet about other options.”
One area of concern for farmers is delivery of vaccines in terms of keeping them at the right temperature to ensure efficacy, but Mr Dare says there should not be a problem if they are packaged correctly.
He explains: “We used pure wool insulated packaging, along with ice packs and shredded paper to ensure continuity of the cold chain which ensures that vaccines and medicines can be kept at the appropriate temperature whilst in transit.
“Couriers appear to be working relatively normally so items dispatched one day should be delivered before noon the next day, but even if they are a few hours late this should not be a problem.
“However, if for any reason they do not arrive until the following day and clearly have not been kept cool, it is advisable not to use them and speak to your vet about replacements.”