This December you’ll need a prescription to buy virtually any livestock antibiotic

Editors note: This post was originally published February 1, 2018. A French version of the 2-page handout has been added and minor revisions to the article below have been made to reflect current information.

If you haven’t done so already, develop a relationship with a beef veterinarian.

Starting December 1, 2018, Health Canada is introducing a couple of important changes affecting the way animal antibiotic products can be accessed by producers across Canada. And having an established Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) will be an important part of a smooth transition. (see sidebar below)

Click image to download a two page handout on the changes to how antibiotics can be purchased. Handout includes a list of cattle products that will need a prescription as of December 1, 2018. (version française)

The key point is, starting Dec. 1, 2018, all livestock producers in Canada will need a prescription from a licenced veterinarian, before they can buy a medically important antibiotic (MIA) for therapeutic use in livestock production. This applies to all beef cattle sectors using antibiotics — cow-calf operators, feedlots and feedmills (and really all sectors of animal agriculture including beef, dairy, hogs, sheep, horses, fish and even bees). The new policy doesn’t just apply to injectable products, but also includes some boluses and calf scour treatments, and Component and Compudose implants. At the same time, the new policy does not apply to certain antimicrobials such as the ionophores, which are not considered to be medically important in managing disease in humans. Continue reading

This December, you’ll need a prescription to buy virtually any livestock antibiotic

Note: Updated version published here September 10, 2018.

If you haven’t done so already, the first few months of 2018 would be an excellent time to develop a relationship with a beef veterinarian.

Starting late in 2018, Health Canada is introducing a couple of important changes affecting the way animal antibiotic products can be accessed by producers. And having an established Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) will be an important part of a smooth transition. (see sidebar below)

Click to download a two page handout on the changes to how antibiotics can be purchased. Handout includes a list of cattle products that will need a prescription as of December 1, 2018.

The key point is, starting Dec. 1, 2018, all livestock producers will need a prescription from a licenced veterinarian, before they can buy a medically important antibiotic (MIA) for therapeutic use in livestock production. This applies to all beef cattle sectors using antibiotics — cow-calf operators, feedlots and feedmills Continue reading

Antibiotic Alternatives

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

AntibioticCCMAntibiotics are a tremendously valuable tool in livestock production. For example, at this time of year, groups of light-weight, freshly weaned, shrunk-out calves with an unknown vaccination or nutritional history arriving at a feedlot after being transported long distances from pre-sort sales in cool, wet fall weather are likely candidates for bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Treating these calves with a preventative antibiotic (metaphylaxis) after they arrive at the feedlot can greatly reduce health problems, suffering and death losses in these calves during their first few weeks on feed.

Bacteria will develop resistance to antibiotics that are used routinely on the ranch or in the feedlot, so these antibiotics will become less effective for preventing or treating disease. This doesn’t directly translate to a concern about antibiotic resistant bacteria in retail beef.
In fact, antibiotic resistance surveillance has Continue reading

Bov-Innovation: Putting Theory into Practice

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

bovinnovationThere is no shortage of beef industry conferences, workshops and meetings for Canadian beef producers to attend throughout the year. These have included the Canfax forum, the Canada Beef forum, Cattlemen’s Young Leaders forums, industry golf tournaments, tours, national, provincial and breed association meetings, the International Livestock Congress, and many more. Although they are valuable events, it is hard for producers to attend every event they might wish to. It can also be frustrating when similar speakers or themes get addressed at several different meetings, and busy producers take extra time away from their operations to hear the same presentations multiple times. The last thing anyone needs is to make time for yet another industry event.

Continue reading

National Beef Antimicrobial Research Strategy developed to drive solutions

News Release
May 9, 2016

Calgary, AB – As concerns grow about the continued effectiveness of antimicrobials in human health and questions arise about the contribution of modern beef production to antimicrobial resistance in human medicine, the beef industry is increasingly pressured to reconsider its methods of combatting harmful bacteria in cattle. Research will play a critical role in the industry’s ability to reduce medically-important antimicrobial use and to develop, identify and implement effective, responsible alternatives to antimicrobials.

“There’s no doubt antimicrobial resistance, use and their alternatives are a high priority in terms of policy, research, and regulations,” said Tim Oleksyn, a cow-calf producer from Shellbrook, Saskatchewan and Chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC).  “It is important for the industry to have a comprehensive strategy with clearly defined outcomes to ensure every research dollar helps make progress in addressing human health and public confidence concerns, while also ensuring animal welfare and industry sustainability are maintained.”

Due to the importance and priority placed on antimicrobial resistance and use, funding of Continue reading

Antimicrobial use and resistance in beef cattle: what producers need to know; Webinar March 2

Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm

In Canada, surveillance indicates that antimicrobial resistance levels in cattle and beef are extremely low and have not increased over time.

Join this free webinar to learn more about why resistance is low, and what precautions beef producer can take to continue this trend.

When
Wednesday March 2 at 7pm MST

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB
  • 8:00pm in SK and MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI 

Watching on a tablet or mobile device?

If you plan to join the webinar using Continue reading

Evaluating the potential contribution of beef cattle to antimicrobial resistance

AMR fact sheetIncreasing public concern regarding antimicrobial use (AMU) and resistance (AMR) in livestock is leading to increased pressure on livestock producers, veterinarians, industry groups, processors, foodservice companies and governments to address these concerns. Science-based, epidemiologically sound research is critical for sound industry policy and communication, legislation, and educated consumer choices.

Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster will provide insights into the relationships between AMU in feedlot cattle, the nature of AMR bacteria in cattle, and the possible spread of pathogens and AMR bacteria in Continue reading

Conjugal Visits

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

CCT151005The federal government’s CIPARS program studies E. coli in healthy cattle entering packing plants and in retail ground beef. Their surveillance shows that resistance to antimicrobials of the highest importance in human health continues to be very rare in these samples, and multi-drug resistant bacteria are even less common. The risk of consumers being exposed to antimicrobial resistant bacteria through exposure to healthy cattle or beef is extremely remote.

But antimicrobial resistance does occur, and can cause real problems in feedlots. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the leading Continue reading

Consumer MisReports

Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center released its “Beef Report” on August 25. A number of questions, concerns and criticisms have been raised by the North American Meat Institute, the International Food Information Council, Business Insider, and others. Rather than answer the specific questions raised, Consumer Reports has encouraged people to read the report more closely.

beef-consumer-reportsUnfortunately, reading the report more closely simply raises more questions about the expertise and/or integrity of Consumer Reports and its “policy and action arm,” Consumers Union.

Here’s one example.

The Danger of Superbugs” heads a section on Page 10 and 11 detailing the health hazards posed by Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STECs, like E. coli O157). This directly implies that antimicrobial resistance will make STEC infections more difficult to treat. This is not true.

Antibiotics are not used to treat STEC infections in people. Instead, Continue reading

Are Ionophores a Risk for Antimicrobial Resistance?

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

Last month’s column talked about Health Canada’s initiative to phase out growth promotion claims for medically important antibiotics by December 2016. This will impact three antibiotics (tetracycline, sulfamethazine and neomycin) that have growth promotion claims in beef cattle in Canada. It will not affect ionophore antibiotics like Rumensin, Bovatec, or Posistac. Ionophores are used widely in in beef production because they reduce methane production, allow the rumen to use feed energy and protein more efficiently, reduce the risk of bloat, acidosis and liver abscesses, and help prevent coccidiosis. Ionophores are not used in human medicine, so they are not considered to be medically important. They are also not a concern from an antimicrobial resistance perspective. Here’s why.

Ionophores have a very unique way of killing bacteria. The rumen has a Continue reading