Canada’s swine veterinarians lead the way for antimicrobial stewardship

The Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council says pending changes to regulations pertaining veterinary use of antimicrobials will allow the pork sector to take a leadership role in antimicrobial stewardship
calendar icon 28 August 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

As of 1 December 2018, all medically important antimicrobials used in veterinary medicine in Canada will be sold by prescription only.

Dr Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council, says these changes have been driven through a global awareness of increasing antimicrobial resistance and Health Canada has worked very closely with the different agriculture sectors since 2014 to make sure this process moves ahead as straight forward as possible.

Dr Brockhoff explains:

“I think the swine veterinary community is fairly well prepared for this. Swine veterinarians have worked extremely close with pork producers for years – through the CQA programme and other animal health programmes, swine veterinarians have had a really close relationship with the Canadian pig herd and the producers that raise those.

“Not all commodity groups have been that fortunate but certainly I think the swine groups are ahead on that and this really provides us an opportunity to be leaders within agriculture on adopting some of these principles.

“Swine veterinarians have been writing feed prescriptions and injectable and water-soluble prescriptions for years because of CQA so this transition should be fairly straight forward. It should also be a good example to the other commodity groups that potentially haven't had that same relationship.”

Dr Brockhoff acknowledges that the regulatory changes will increase the work load for veterinarians, who will be responsible for writing these prescriptions but, he says, it will also result in closer working relationships among veterinarians and their clients, and greater oversight of antimicrobial use.

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Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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