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CVMA Participates in Discussion to Promote Prudent Use of Medically-Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food Animal Production

March 18, 2015

Recently, CVMA participated in a one-day meeting in Ottawa hosted by the Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD), which allowed stakeholders to discuss promoting the prudent use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animal production. Dr. Duane Landals, a past-president of the CVMA, represented the association and provided CVMA’s perspective on the VDD proposals. Overall, it is the CVMA’s position that necessary regulatory changes must proceed expeditiously and be in place prior to December 2016. CVMA has confirmed its position in more detail to the VDD and offered its assistance in clarifying the details of the current proposals as they move forward.

Summary of VDD Proposals and CVMA recommendations:

Phasing out Growth Promotion and/or Production Claims

CVMA supports the removal of growth promotion and/or production claims of medically important drugs as well a strengthening the veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals.

Own-Use Importation (OUI) of Veterinary Drugs and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

CVMA has long held the position that the unregulated importation, through the OUI loophole, of animal health products for commercial use in food producing animals poses a potential risk to the Canadian public health and food safety. While CVMA still holds that there should be a simple prohibition of this activity, it supports the proposal of the establishment of a list of permissible products exempted from the prohibition on importation as a step in the right direction.

CVMA has a long-standing policy expressing concern for the unregulated importation and use of APIs in animal agriculture. CVMA firmly supports the steps to limit their importation to qualified and regulated establishments and as well support prohibition of use of APIs in dosage form.

Medicated Livestock Feeds: Increased Veterinary Oversight

CVMA supports the concept of veterinary authorization for the on-label use of antimicrobials in feed consistent with the proposed amended Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures. Necessary regulatory changes must be in place such that they might be implemented to coincide with feed label changes removing production claims becoming effective December 2016. 

Important Antimicrobial Drugs Administered via Drinking Water: Increasing Veterinary Oversight

CVMA holds that the regulatory oversight of medically-important antimicrobials in water must be as vigorously enforced as the oversight of prescription drugs administered by other routes.


Antimicrobial stewardship remains a priority issue for CVMA. The following highlights what CVMA has done to date to advocate for change and encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials in animals: