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.

Download timelines: Health Canada
is strengthening Canada’s framework
for veterinary antimicrobials

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.


02-09-2018DEL Bulletin LEPP No. 21 - Antimicrobial Regulatory Amendment - Info
01-29-2018Are you a Pharmacist or Veterinarian Who Compounds Antimicrobial Drugs on List A for Animals?
01-05-2018The Bigger Picture: Antimicrobial Resistance
12-14-2017Notice: Prescription Drug List (PDL): Human and Veterinary Antimicrobials
12-01-2017Requirements for Veterinarians Issuing a Prescription
11-28-2017Timelines: Health Canada is strengthening Canada’s regulatory framework for veterinary antimicrobials
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
09-08-2017CVMA 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