Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use in Animals in Canada


Veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use is being strengthened in Canada as part of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. This means important changes for you as a practitioner and for the veterinary profession.

Health Canada is moving a number of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIAs) approved for veterinary use before 2004 to the Prescription Drug List (PDL). With this change, Health Canada will establish the same level of oversight for those MIAs approved before 2004 as for those approved after.

As of December 1, 2018, all MIAs for veterinary use will be on the PDL and must be sold by prescription only. 

Other regulatory amendments made by Health Canada include:

  • Ending Own Use Importation of MIA by animal owners effective November 13, 2017;
  • Increased oversight and new rules for the handling of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for veterinary use starting May 17, 2018;
  • Mandatory reporting of sales information related to MIA; and
  • New requirements and the expansion of the veterinary health products program to increase access to alternative animal health products for production animals
Questions about the regulatory and policy changes? Visit the Health Canada websiteContact them at Questions on the management of the inventory of medically important antimicrobials during the transition to December 1, 2018? Find it here.

Who we are working with

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), along with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) and other stakeholders, have been engaging with Health Canada's Veterinary Drugs Directorate about these changes and will continue to support these actions with ongoing engagement and communication.


Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use – A Pan-Canadian Framework for Professional Standards for Veterinarians

After broad stakeholder consultation and discussion, the Canadian Council of Veterinary Registrars and the CVMA’s Veterinary Pharmaceutical Stewardship Advisory Group developed a pan-Canadian framework of professional standards for veterinarians regarding veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use. It is available for download here.


11-23-2017Article: Drug import rules the next step in antimicrobial campaign (Ontario Farmer)
11-01-2017CAHI Press Release: Effective December 1, 2018 a Veterinary Prescription Will Be Needed to Use Medically Important Antibiotics in Animals
10-19-2017Importing Medically Important Antibiotics for Use in Food Animals Ends November 13, 2017
10-13-2017CAHI-ANAC: Managing Inventory during the OTC to Pr Switch Transition Period
10-10-2017As of December 1, 2018, All Medically Important Antimicrobials for Veterinary Use will be Sold by Prescription Only
09-21-2017Antimicrobial stewardship in companion animals: Welcome to a whole new era (Dr. John F. Prescott)
09-21-2017What Canadian veterinarians need to know and explain about AMR: A take-home tool-kit (Dr. John F. Prescott)
09-21-2017Outpacing the resistance tsunami: Antimicrobial stewardship in equine medicine (Dr. John F. Prescott)
09-08-2017CVMA Joins Government Sub-Committee Discussing Moving Medically Important Antimicrobials to Prescription Drug List
06-01-2017Audio Interview –Strengthening the Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use in Canada: Let’s Answer “The Why?”
05-24-2017CVMA Welcomes Health Canada’s New Regulations to Reduce Risk of Antimicrobial Resistance to Canadians
05-09-2017CVMA Begins Process to Update Guidelines for the Prudent Use of Veterinary Antimicrobial Medications
02-28-2017NEWS RELEASE: Veterinary Community and Partners Hold Workshop to Identify Requirements for National Surveillance of Antimicrobial Use
02-02-2017NEWS RELEASE: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Receives Funding to Lay Foundation for National Surveillance of AMU
01-18-2017NEWS RELEASE: Canadian Veterinarians Work to Harmonize Oversight of Antimicrobial Use to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance
01-13-2017Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use – A Pan-Canadian Framework for Professional Standards for Veterinarians (PDF)
12-15-2016President's Message: Embracing the New Reality of Antimicrobial Stewardship
11-24-2016Continuing Education is Key to Effective Antimicrobial Stewardship
10-27-2016Effective Surveillance of Antimicrobial Use: A Necessity in the Fight Against AMR
09-28-2016Canadian Vet Article: CVMA's "Antimicrobials in Animal Health - the New Reality" Summit
09-22-2016Will Stronger Stewardship Practices Mean Changes to Compounding Guidelines?
08-25-2016A New Reality will Impact Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Own-Use-Importation
07-28-2016Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance in Veterinary and Human Medicine - A Collaborative Effort
06-23-2016Use of Categorization of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Human Medicine
05-26-2016Prescribing and Dispensing – A Professional Responsibility
04-28-2016The Importance of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship
03-24-2016The Roadmap Forward: A Pan-Canadian Response to Address Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use
02-25-2016Role of the Veterinarian in the Oversight of Antimicrobial Use
01-28-2016The Bigger Picture
09-01-2014President’s Message: The CVMA and Prudent Use of Antimicrobials