Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – It’s a busy time for farmers and veterinarians as calving is in full swing for many, so what are vets who are traveling to do farms doing to help protect everyone from COVID-19 while still doing their job?

Dr. Pat Burrage is a Veterinarian and the Vice President of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association.

Burrage says they practice social distancing when on the farm and also ask some standard questions before they do anything.

“When we enter a farm everybody is continuing the social distancing obviously,” Burrage said.

He says if they are going to farms they have never been to before they ask a few extra questions.

“On farms that we don’t know the history of there is an initial conversation has anyone been anywhere, is everyone feeling well and once we clear the air and then off we go and to work we go.”

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He says they have stepped up measures to help farmers through ‘telemedicine’ to help keep everyone safe.

Burrage says they get a lot of information via text and via pictures from farmers asking questions like ‘how do we manage this?’ and ‘how do we manage that?’

“The association has been very diligent in ensuring that veterinarians can continue to provide care in a safe way for both the clients and the animals. So we are definitely engaging in a lot more of that activity.”

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Burrage says at this time of year it is important for farmers to work in pairs when checking their herds for safety, but there are extra considerations to consider because of the pandemic.

“It is a very good idea to have shifts or split staff so they are not comingling when it comes to coffee time, lunchtime, and even days on-shift so if there is a break-down in one of the groups, they still have a second group who is safe and healthy and can continue to provide the care to the animals that are out there.”

For a complete list of the measures veterinarians are undertaking during the pandemic click here.

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