On-Farm Antimicrobial Surveillance Moves a Step Closer

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.

As long as cattle continue to get sick, cattle producers will need antimicrobials to help them recover. At the same time, it’s common to hear activists, regulators, consumers and/or retailers call for livestock producers to stop using antimicrobials altogether, reduce antimicrobial use, or demonstrate that antimicrobials are being used responsibly. Solid, reliable data demonstrating our industry’s antimicrobial use (AMU) practices and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) prevalence on an ongoing basis are key to maintaining consumer and public confidence in Canadian beef production practices.

The Public Health Agency of Canada monitors antimicrobial resistance in healthy beef cattle, pigs and poultry arriving at abattoirs as well as retail meat through the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS). CIPARS has also had on-farm programs to collect antimicrobial use (AMU) and resistance (AMR) data for poultry and grower-finisher swine for several years. Continue reading