Canada catches up on antibiotic use

CANADA - The coordinator of the CDPQ Swine Health Team says changes to Canada's antibiotic use policy has brought Canada in line with other countries
calendar icon 2 January 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

As of 1 December antibiotics used in livestock production in Canada require a veterinary prescription.

Antibiotic use in Canada: How are we doing? will be discussed Tuesday as part of a Swine Innovation Porc pre-conference session scheduled in conjunction with the Banff Pork Seminar.

Dr Christian Klopfenstein, an extension expert for swine health management with CDPQ, says the change brings Canada in line with what other nations are already doing.

Dr Klopfenstein says, "The first step that Canada has taken in addressing antibiotic use is, in many provinces in Canada antibiotics could be sold over the counter, bought by the farmer.

"The first step that Canada has taken is, as of December 2018, antibiotic sales will have to be done under prescription by a swine veterinarian officially recognised by the region.

"This is already in place in Quebec for quite awhile but now it's going to be in place in all other provinces of the country.

"We need more justification for antibiotic use."

He says that it has to go through a prescription provided by a veterinarian and that this is the first step taken in Canada.

He says, "On this matter Canada was late.

"In many countries, especially in Europe, antibiotics were sold by prescription for many years."

Dr Klopfenstein stresses antibiotic use in Canada in the livestock sector has always been done in a safe manner but never had very much consideration about the justification for use.

He says now Canada is asking if that use is justified and if the country can reduce some of the antibiotics it is using.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane for

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