On April 10, 2014, Health Canada notified stakeholders that the Veterinary Drugs Directorate would be working in collaboration with the Canadian Animal Health Institute and other stakeholders, including provincial/territorial authorities, the pharmaceutical industry, veterinarians and food animal producers to address concerns relating to antimicrobial resistance.
As part of the initiative, Health Canada identified two key measures to promote appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs in food animal production. These two key measures are the removal of growth promotion and/or production claims of medically-important antimicrobial drugs and the development of options to strengthen the veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals.
Antimicrobial resistance has been recognized as a global concern by the World Health Organization. Several Canadian food producer industry organizations, such the Beef Cattle Research Council, have previously published articles addressing antimicrobial resistance in food-producing animals and made recommendations to address antimicrobial resistance.
Health Canada has not yet advised which regulatory mechanisms will be used to implement these measures or the form that stakeholder consultations will take. However, Health Canada describes the process being followed in the United States as involving “similar measures”.