News & Events
House of Commons Releases Report on the Status of Antimicrobial Resistance in Canada and Related Recommendations
May 10, 2018
On March 7, 2016, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health agreed to undertake a study on the status of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Canada. The committee held six meetings with witnesses (two in June 2017, and four in November 2017), and received 17 briefs relating to this study. Over the course of its meetings on AMR, the committee heard from government officials, academics, international organizations and stakeholders in the fields of both human and animal health.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, along with other organizations, was invited to present to the Standing Committee on Health. Other participants included for example representatives from Chicken Farmers of Canada, Veterinary Drugs Directorate (Health Canada), and the National Farmed Health and Welfare Council.
The report lists a number of recommendations for the consideration of the House of Commons or the Federal Government. Although the document primarily focuses on human health, there are clear links to animal health and veterinary medicine.
In this respect, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is especially pleased with the following recommendations:
The CVMA feels this is an important step given its past calls for strong federal leadership on the matter of AMR.
Recommendation 4: "That the Public Health Agency of Canada ensure that the forthcoming Pan-Canadian Action Plan for the Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action focus on identifying ways to scale up current best practices in antimicrobial resistance stewardship across Canada."
Recommendation 8: "That, as part of the forthcoming Pan-Canadian Action Plan for the Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action , the Public Health Agency of Canada expand the role of The Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System to integrate and scale up existing data systems."
The two recommendations are supportive of the CVMA’s stewardship and surveillance initiatives. The CVMA is currently leading two initiatives that support a global and national strategy to reduce antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in part by improving antimicrobial stewardship and surveillance in animals. CVMA’s activities have focused on developing ready-for-delivery, practical tools to assist veterinarians in the prudent use of antimicrobials for six defined species groups - swine, poultry, beef, dairy, small ruminants and companion animals, as well as conceptualizing, designing and implementing a pilot veterinary AMU surveillance initiative that focuses initially on animal feed. Read more.
- Read highlights of what CVMA has done to date to advocate for change and encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials in animals.
Recommendation 6: "That, as part of the forthcoming Pan-Canadian Action Plan for the Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action, the Public Health Agency of Canada work with the provinces and territories and their health professional regulatory bodies to develop voluntary national prescribing guidelines."
In the report, the development of “national prescribing guidelines” is aimed at human health, however the CVMA feels it underscores the need for CVMA to continue to coordinate provincial initiatives and the work of the CCVR. In 2017, CVMA published a document titled, Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use – A Pan-Canadian Framework for Professional Standards for Veterinarians
, to provide a template of professional standards for provincial and territorial veterinary regulatory (licensing) bodies when developing their own regulations, guidelines, or bylaws relating to veterinarians’ professional responsibilities in providing oversight of use of antimicrobials in animals. Within the Framework are recommendations for prescribing and dispensing.
Recommendation 7: "That, as part of the forthcoming Pan-Canadian Action Plan for the Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action, Health Canada consider improving access to alternative therapies for food animals, such as probiotics, to reduce the use of antimicrobials in food animals."
Enhancing knowledge about and availability of safe and effective alternatives to antimicrobials is in the interest of the veterinary profession and animal owners. CVMA’s stewardship effectives aim to incorporate knowledge about alternatives into the prudent use guidelines.
Read the full report here.
CVMA Appeared as Witness at Standing Committee
On November 9, 2017, Dr. Duane Landals, past president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and current member of its Veterinary Pharmaceutical Stewardship Advisory Group, appeared on behalf of the association as a witness at the Standing Committee on Health as it conducts a study on antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Landals highlighted the need for a One Health approach to develop strategies for responsible antimicrobial use that in turn supports the control of antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Landals reviewed CVMA's current initiatives on antimicrobial stewardship and antimicrobial surveillance, including the current collaboration with the Veterinary Drugs Directorate and other stakeholders to create common messaging aimed at raising awareness of the rule changes Health Canada is implementing regarding the use of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs).
As of December 1, 2018, all MIAs for veterinary use will be on the PDL and must be sold by prescription only.
Dr. Landals emphasized the continued need to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop concrete ways to reduce the use of antimicrobials through prudent use.
- View the full details of the meeting (meeting 78) here.
- Find a copy of Dr. Landal's presentation to the Standing Committee here.
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