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CVMA Letter to Minister of Health Asks for Position on Antimicrobial Resistance

February 23, 2016

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) sent a letter to the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, last month asking for her position on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), including gaps in the regulation of veterinary drugs that allow 1) over-the-counter sale of medically important antimicrobials without prescription, 2) own-use importation of veterinary drugs (especially antibiotics), and 3) use of active pharmaceutical ingredients not approved by Health Canada.

Prior to the October 2015 election, CVMA asked political parties a number of animal welfare and national issue questions concerning the veterinary profession.

In regards to AMR, the Liberal party answered: “Liberals take the threat of antimicrobial resistance seriously; we believe that there has been a lack of leadership from the federal government to develop a strategy to mitigate this threat. We share the concerns in the spring 2015 Report of the Auditor General of Canada regarding this increasingly pressing issue. Liberals are committed to preserving the integrity and safety of the food chain, which is jeopardized by the improper use of antimicrobials. A Liberal government will engage with the provinces and stakeholders to address existing loopholes surrounding the use of antimicrobials.”  

Read: Liberal Party of Canada Answers Questions on CVMA Priority Issues 

In the letter, CVMA urged the Minister to implement the key regulatory changes by the end of 2016 in accordance with previously published timelines and to support a harmonized North American approach to address this key public health problem.  

Read full letter here.

Antimicrobial stewardship remains a priority issue for the CVMA, and will continue to develop new initiatives to encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials in animals.