Ontario veterinarians will be able to access a portion of up to $4 million for new, portal and virtual equipment.
Funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Livestock Veterinary Innovation Initiative is intended to increase the access options for veterinary care, especially in rural and northern Ontario.
The province says the program will target investment on improving virtual care options, expanding telemedicine access, and addressing issues with mobile clinics to address current challenges, such as long distances between farmers and animal heath care providers and the shortage of food-animal veterinarians working in underserviced areas.
“We are grateful for the commitment by both levels of government to increase support for veterinary care,” says Rob Lipsett, president of Beef Farmers of Ontario. “Beef farming takes place in every county and district in the province, and all of our members deserve proper access to veterinary care and medicine. The issue is complex, but we continue to look for ways to address service gaps and promote the opportunities for food-animal veterinarians in the livestock sector in Ontario.”
Examples of projects eligible for support under this initiative include:
- Equipment to help veterinary practices deliver enhanced virtual care, diagnostic work, and tele-medical support for farms.
- Portable, specialized, livestock handling equipment to help veterinary practices or farms manage animals while receiving care; and,
- Training for veterinary professionals to help them use new equipment, techniques or deliver more efficient and accessible support to livestock farmers.
“Ontario Sheep Farmers is thrilled with the announcement that will bring vital veterinary care to underserviced areas of the province,” says John Hemsted, chair of Ontario Sheep Farmers. “We thank the government for their support. The wellbeing of our flocks is a top priority and this investment will help ensure we all have more access to veterinary services.”