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Ont. groups to collect livestock drugs, sharps

Ontario farmers will be able to take unused livestock drugs and sharps to collection sites in November under a new pilot program.

The Ontario Farm Animal Council, in a release Tuesday, said its “clean sweep” pilot program will be held between Nov. 20 and 22 at six locations in southwestern and eastern Ontario.

“Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America that is undertaking this type of pilot collection program for animal health products as a way of protecting water quality,” OFAC executive director Crystal Mackay said in the release.

At specified locations and times, collection sites will accept animal pharmaceutical products with drug identification numbers (DIN), plus sharps products (needles, scalpel blades and syringes), for “safe and environmentally friendly” disposal.

The pilot is part of a larger provincial government initiative under a federal-provincial agreement on protection of water quality in the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

The program is expected to lead up to a province-wide sweep of pesticides, sharps and unused livestock drugs in the fall of 2009, OFAC said.

The pilot project is being co-ordinated by the Ontario Farm Animal Council and AGCare, along with the Canadian Animal Health Coalition, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Ontario Agri Business Association and the provincial ag ministry.

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