Canada Targets Science Based Approach to Antibiotic Use in Livestock

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1351. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 26 September 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1351

A member of the Health Canada stakeholder committee that's examining the use of antimicrobials in livestock says Canada prefers to adopt a science based approach.

The United Nations health agency has said it favors phasing out the use of antibiotic growth promoters in animal feed to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Claire Schlegel is the Vice President of the Canadian Pork Council and its representative on the Health Canada committee that's developing an antimicrobial resistance risk management strategy.

He says pork producers in Canada care about this issue, they eat the product they produce and they are concerned about food safety issues.

"I think Canada's preference in general is to approach it on a science based approach and we support that as opposed to simply a blanket ban.

We believe these products do add value in general, that it helps us produce a more consistent higher quality product on a regular basis.

While there are concerns raised, we're willing to take a look at the concern and to proactively work to respond to it.

If we're part of the problem we want to be part of the solution as well.

Health Canada is putting forward that they want to approach growth promotants on a product by product basis as opposed to going to a widespread ban or a blanket ban and they're instituting a new risk based assessment approach.

It's part of the whole AMR or antimicrobial resistance strategy that was put forward by a working group that worked for a number of years.

I think one of the issues would be products that are both used in human medicine and in animals. That perhaps will come under a different scrutiny or a different risk based assessment approach than other products that are used only in livestock".

Schlegel says the new risk based assessment process is currently being reviewed and a consultation is expected this fall.

He says anyone with an interest in the issue is welcome to express an opinion.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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