The widespread use of antimicrobials in humans and animals has led to antimicrobial resistance around the world. Without action, this growing threat will continue to affect our ability to treat human and animal illnesses with the drugs we are used to using.
Everyone who uses or prescribes antimicrobials has a role to play in fighting the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The Farmed Animal Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative (FAAST) aims to tackle resistance head on through education, collaboration, and engagement across the value chain. Our mission is to help Ontario veterinarians, farmed animal owners, and their representative organizations:
- improve antimicrobial stewardship in farmed animals
- prepare for upcoming policy and regulatory changes, and
- preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials without compromising animal health or food safety
FAAST is a collaborative effort between the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, government, academic, and industry partners. For more information, please contact us.
Stewardship today for a sustainable tomorrow
What changes are coming?
The Government of Canada is working in partnership with provinces, territories and industry to help control antimicrobial resistance and promote improved antimicrobial stewardship in both humans and animals. Health Canada has announced how it is taking action to help reduce the use of antimicrobials in animals and enhance veterinary oversight:
- By December 1, 2018, a veterinary prescription will be required for the purchase of antimicrobials that are important to human medicine. This means that Ontario producers will no longer be able to purchase such products at Livestock Medicines Outlets. It will be important to work with a veterinarian to purchase these products.
Antimicrobials in mixed feed will still be available at feed mills and will also require a prescription. Producers should discuss delivery options with their veterinarian if there are concerns about geographical distance to a veterinary office or obtaining products for timely treatment.
Products containing the following active ingredients will require a prescription (subject to change):
- Penicillin G
- Or their salts or derivatives
Ionophore products and coccidiostats will not be affected by this change.
- As of November 2017, approvals and access to low-risk veterinary health products such as “nutraceuticals” have been improved to give producers greater access to a broader range of products for animal health.
- Also beginning in November 2017, importation of antimicrobials that are important to human medicine for producers’ own use are no longer permitted. National producer organizations have been consulted on products that are exempted, but no products containing antimicrobials are eligible for exemption.
- By May 2018, only those with a Canadian Food Inspection Agency Drug Establishment License (DEL) will be able to import active pharmaceutical ingredients. Producers will otherwise no longer be able to import these ingredients to mix on farm.
- Beginning with the 2018 sales year, reporting of veterinary antimicrobial sales will be mandatory for manufacturers, importers and compounders of veterinary antimicrobials.
- By December 2018, Growth promotion claims will be removed from the labels of veterinary products containing antimicrobials that are important to human medicine.
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