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)
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
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.
Antibiotics 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
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.
There 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.
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
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.
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
Increasing 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
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.
The 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 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.
Unfortunately, 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
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
This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
Ionophores (Rumensin, Bovatec, Posistac) are not medically important because the ionophores approved for use in cattle are not used in human medicine. Other antimicrobials used in livestock are medically important. Concerns around antimicrobial resistance in both human and veterinary medicine have led to increased scrutiny regarding how medically important antimicrobials are used in livestock production. In response, pharmaceutical companies throughout North America are removing production claims (i.e. growth and feed efficiency) from products containing medically important antimicrobials. Some of these products also have health claims, but four Canadian products only have production claims (two Aureo S-700G products, Chlor S-700, and Neo-Terramycin). These products may disappear unless the companies pursue new health-related label claims.
But do medically important antimicrobials really promote growth? Or do they just keep calves healthy, which grow better than sick calves? Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Dr. Kim Stanford led a research project Continue reading