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Webster Veterinary Severs Relationship With Bayer Animal Health

Webster Veterinary reported April 23 that it has discontinued its relationship with Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee, Kan., and will no longer represent Bayer’s companion animal health product line.

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Webster Veterinary, a national distributor of veterinary products and pharmaceuticals, reported April 23 that it has discontinued its relationship with Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee, Kan., and will no longer represent Bayer’s companion animal health product line.

The move is in response to Bayer Animal Health’s recent decision to sell its Advantage and K9 Advantix products directly to pet specialty retailers and pet specialty Internet sites. Previously, the flea and tick products were only available through licensed veterinarians.

“Webster believes that veterinary professionals provide the highest level of care to our pets and are the best source for providing products, services, instruction and education to support this care,” said George Henriques, president of Webster Veterinary, a division of Patterson Companies of St. Paul, Minn. “We remain committed to supporting our industry and our veterinary professionals in every possible way. While we regret the need to discontinue our relationship with a business partner, we believe it is the right decision for Webster Veterinary and our industry.”

Bob Walker, director of Communications and Public Policy for Bayer Animal Health, said that Webster Veterinary was very upfront about their decision to discontinue the partnership. “And we respect their decision,” said Walker, adding that Bayer Animal Health is expanding relationships with other distributors such as Butler Schein Animal Health and MWI Veterinary Supply.

Bayer Animal Health began selling Advantage Topical Solution (Dog), Advantage Topical (Cat) and K9 Advantix in March “to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business environment,” according to company announcement early February.

Pet owners are increasingly demanding more convenient access to flea and tick products; they like one-stop shopping, Walker said.

The move to sell directly to pet specialty retailers and pet specialty Internet sites will also allow Bayer Animal Health to have better control over the products, Walker added. Sometimes these products were sold through such channels without the company’s authorization.

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Even though Bayer Animal Health has expanded its sales channels, Walker said that the company remains committed to veterinarians and the veterinary industry. For instance, the company recently launched a multi-million dollar national, consumer print advertising campaign promoting the importance of veterinary visits. The campaign includes print advertisements in consumer magazines and point-of-purchase materials for pet specialty stores to help educate pet owners about the importance of veterinary visits.

“It is incumbent on us to reinforce our commitment to the veterinary community,” Walker said, adding that this will be shown through a ‘wait and see’ approach. “Allow us to prove that we support the profession.”

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Webster Veterinary, a national distributor of veterinary products and pharmaceuticals, reported April 23 that it has discontinued its relationship with Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee, Kan., and will no longer represent Bayer’s companion animal health product line.Webster Veterinary, a national distributor of veterinary products and pharmaceuticals, reported April 23 that it has discontinued its relationship with Bayer Animal Health of Shawnee, Kan., and will no longer represent Bayer’s companion animal health product line.Webster Veterinary, Bayer Animal Health, veterinary products, pharmaceuticals, pets

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