Live­stock, an­timi­cro­bial use and you


When live­stock get sick or in­jured, the peo­ple tak­ing care of the an­i­mals should take steps to help the sick an­i­mals get well. This of­ten in­cludes treat­ing the an­i­mal with an­tibi­otics. Many of the an­tibi­otics used to treat live­stock ill­nesses and in­fec­tions are very sim­i­lar or closely re­lated to the an­tibi­otics used in hu­man medicine. All an­tibi­otic us­age con­trib­utes to the de­vel­op­ment of an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance. In or­der to main­tain the ef­fec­tive­ness of ex­ist­ing med­i­cally im­por­tant an­timi­cro­bials for as long as pos­si­ble, Health Canada’s Vet­eri­nary Drugs Direc­torate con­sid­ers hav­ing ap­pro­pri­ate vet­eri­nary over­sight to be a key mea­sure to­wards pro­mot­ing the pru­dent use of an­timi­cro­bials and min­i­miz­ing the de­vel­op­ment and spread of an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance.

Health Canada has cat­e­go­rized an­timi­cro­bial drugs based on their im­por­tance in hu­man medicine. Cat­e­gory 1 drugs are of very high im­por­tance and in­clude prod­ucts such as Ex­cenel®, and Baytril®. Cat­e­gory 2 drugs are of high im­por­tance and in­clude prod­ucts such as Neo-chlor, Su­per Scour Calf Bo­luses, Zuprevo™, Mi­cotil®, Draxxin®, Ty­lan®, Pen­pro and Triv­etrin®. Cat­e­gory 3 are drugs of medium im­por­tance and in­cludes the prod­ucts Nu­flor®, Res­flor®, Calf­s­pan tablets, sul­famet­hazine bo­luses, and tetra­cy­clines. Cat­e­gory 4 con­tains an­timi­cro­bials which are not used in hu­man medicine and are con­sid­ered of low im­por­tance. This cat­e­gory in­cludes the ionophores Bo­vatec® and Ru­mensin®.

Since 2014 Health Canada has been work­ing on de­vel­op­ing pol­icy and reg­u­la­tions to im­prove vet­eri­nary over­sight of med­i­cally im­por­tant an­timi­cro­bials (Cat­e­gories 1, 2 and 3) used for an­i­mals. The main change is re­lated to adding all re­main­ing med­i­cally im­por­tant an­timi­cro­bials for vet­eri­nary use to the pre­scrip­tion drug list. In ef­fect, pro­duc­ers will re­quire a pre­scrip­tion from a

Ovet­eri­nar­ian that has a valid client/pa­tient re­la­tion­ship in or­der to pur­chase an­tibi­otics in­stead of be­ing able to pur­chase them over the counter. The changes are an­tic­i­pated to come into ef­fect in early 2018.

Fur­ther de­tails on the pro­posed changes to how an­tibi­otics for vet­eri­nary use will be ob­tained can be found at Health Canada’s Vet­eri­nary Drugs Direc­torate web­site. Con­tact your local vet­eri­nar­ian or Saskatchew­an Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture Re­gional Of­fice for as­sis­tance in un­der­stand­ing what these pro­posed changes will mean for your oper­a­tion.

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