Getting Medications Approved For Use in Gamebirds

Published On: September 29, 2010Categories: Farm Management

There are lots of medications approved for “major species” of animals like chickens or turkeys or ducks.  There is much negative publicity about the use of drugs in treating animal disease – but in reality most farmers are very conservative about using drugs to treat their animals.

At our farm, we are in the position that very few drugs have been approved for use with pheasants or partridges.  In some cases, we can use a drug that has been approved for use in chickens or turkeys as long as we have our Veterinarian issue a prescription.

But in some cases, there just aren’t drugs approved for major species that we need to treat our pheasants.  One example of this is we need to deworm our pheasants during rainy years.  Our pheasants get two types of parasitic worms (called gape worms or capillaria worms) and dewormers aren’t approved for major species because unlike our pheasants, chickens and turkeys are raised indoors where deworming is not necessary (because chickens or turkeys won’t pick up the parasites indoors).  So even with a Veterinarian’s prescription, we can’t get the dewormer we need to treat our birds.

A division of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is the CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine).  The CVM is the bureaucratic agency that oversees drug approval for animals.  The CVM utilized a group called the NRSP-7 to oversee the drug approval process for minor species of animals (like lamas, or fish, or ostriches or pheasants!).  The NRSP-7 has been working to get approval for a dewormer for use in pheasants and partridges.  The NRSP-7 members meet once or twice a year to discuss the projects they are working on and projects that are proposed.  Most often the NRSP-7 meets in Washington D.C.

Next week the members of the NRSP-7 are coming to our farm to take a tour of all our facilities.  This is such a positive thing not only for our farm but for the whole game bird industry.  Hopefully touring our farm will really open the eyes of the members to what a commercial game bird farm is all about.

Check out the NRSP-7 homepage to the left to find out more about this organization.

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