The following are excerpts from various OVQAP Updates published by the OVA. Please contact the OVA or your veterinarian if you have further questions.
How much will it cost to get Validated?
The OVA does not regulate the fees that are charged by the veterinarians who perform the Validation service to you on the farm. The OVQAP Validation is a service provided to you by the veterinarian and each clinic may have varying rates. It is important to remember to have all of your paperwork in order and all of the appropriate questions answered. The more you can do to prepare ahead of time the better.
Can my Validator also be my herd veterinarian?
In some cases, there may be no alternative but to have your herd veterinarian validate your operation, especially in some geographic areas. However, the veterinarian/validator must realize that they are taking on the responsibility of both aspects of the program. It is likely the 3rd party auditor may choose to audit those operations where this occurs to ensure compliance.
Do I record the selenium that is in my feed as a drug?
No it is not necessary to record selenium or other minerals that are added your feed on your Feed Inventory Form. Selenium is a mineral and therefore is not classified as a drug. However, if you inject selenium or other vitamins and minerals into your calves you must record this on your Individual Treatment Form to document the injection for future reference.
Where can I get my water tested?
Your local municipal or county Department of Health should be able to provide you with the service of testing water and this is a good place to start. There are private laboratories that will test your water for a fee. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is offering a discount to producers with the Baseline Water Well Testing Program. There are five different testing packages available to producers (eg. inorganics, bacterial, gasoline and solvents, pesticides, etc.) and results are kept on a confidential basis. Please call the OFA at 1-800-668-3276 or see their website at www.ofa.on.ca/water for more information.
Will I get a premium for my calves?
There is no guarantee that you will get a premium for your calves produced under this program. The feedback that we have received from buyers and processors is that they would be willing to pay more for top quality calves. However, we do believe that the OVQAP will become the standard to which the rest of the industry will be judged against.
Why do I have to use the tamper proof OVQAP tag?
As part of the OVQAP, producers are required to use a tamper proof two-part tag in order to individually identify each of their veal calves. The OVA has negotiated a very competitive price for the OVQAP tags. Producers will find that tag prices are similar to those paid for one-piece tags that are not tamper proof. In addition, the colour of the OVQAP tags are unique and will stand out in the sales ring and during processing at the packer.
Do I need a refrigerator in the barn when I use the one in my house?
Storing your medications in your house refrigerator poses several risks. Your family could accidentally be exposed to harmful substances in the case of spills or package damage. Children or non-farm individuals can also have easier access to medications kept in the house. Ensuring that vaccines and other medications are stored at their proper temperature is critical. A thermometer should be used to monitor the proper temperature. Additionally, it may not be convenient to travel from the house to the barn with temperature sensitive medications. While it is not mandatory at this point, it is a good management practice to separate your family’s food refrigerator from the storage of livestock medicines.
How many times can I re-use a needle?
It is recommended that you change your needle every 10-15 uses in order to maintain proper injection techniques. However, if the needle becomes bent, dull or contaminated with manure you should use a new needle immediately. Do not straighten or reuse a bent needle. You should clean needles and syringes with hot water between uses. If you use a disinfectant to clean your needles and syringes you should rinse thoroughly before using.
Will I get a premium for my calves?
There is no guarantee that you will get a premium for your calves produced under this program. The feedback that we have received from buyers and processors is that they would be willing to pay more for top quality calves. However, we do believe that the OVQAP will become the standard against which the rest of the industry will be judged.
If I suspect a problem with my feed where do I send it for analysis?
Laboratories that test agricultural feeds can most likely be found in the yellow pages of your telephone book. Similarly, many feed companies also have in-house laboratories that can provide testing services. You will be required to send a sample of the feed along with other information required by the lab for proper analysis. The analysis is done on a cost recovery basis and the fees may vary. Before submitting a feed sample to a lab, perhaps you should consult your feed company’s nutritionist or salesman or your veterinarian.
I am concerned about biosecurity and the stress level of my calves. Will more people coming into my barn increase the risk of disease and stress?
The number of visitors should be kept to a minimum on your farm in order to reduce stress and anxiety in your calves. As part of the OVQAP, only the Validator will be required to enter your barn at a mutually arranged time. There are no spot checks or surprise visits. The OVQAP Project Manager is available to visit your operation (at no charge) should you choose to have him visit your farm. In all cases, you should maintain a strict protocol for biosecurity in your barn. This means that proper disinfectants, foot baths, and clean clothing are to be used at all times.