CANADA - A Saskatchewan based veterinary epidemiologist is advising livestock producers to maintain communications with their veterinarians and nutritionists as new regulations governing the use of antimicrobials on the farm come into effect, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In response to potential concerns related to the use of antimicrobials in food producing animals regulations governing the use of these compounds in livestock production in both Canada and the US are changing.
Dr Leigh Rosengren, a veterinary epidemiologist with Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting, recommends producers be aware of where antimicrobial use can be minimized and maintaining constant communications with both their veterinarians and their nutritionists.
Dr Leigh Rosengren-Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting:
We're seeing substantial changes in the regulations in Canada.
The time frames are about the next 14 months, so mostly to be completed by December 2016.
The most major changes that we're seeing are increased veterinary oversight for access for antimicrobials administered through feed and through water.
The drugs that will change are classes that are considered medically important to human medicine.
Those are what the VDD categorizes as 1, 2 or 3.
Any antimicrobials in those categories that are administered again through feed and water are anticipated to be under veterinary oversight in the future.
Secondly we're seeing increased controls over antimicrobials being brought into Canada that haven't gone through the Health Canada system so we will be closing some of the loopholes that have plagued our industry.
Dr Rosengren says producers need to understand what's happening in their feed and water and where drugs in classes 1, 2 and 3 can substituted with a category 4 antimicrobial which is considered of low importance to human medicine.
She adds reliance on antimicrobials is always reduced through good husbandry and management.
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