Government of Canada proposes stronger rules for antimicrobial drugs

New measures are part of the Federal Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance

OTTAWA, June 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Health Canada took a key step forward in protecting Canadians against the increasing risk of antimicrobial resistance. The department is seeking feedback on a regulatory proposal that would strengthen rules governing the importation, sale and use of antimicrobial drugs in livestock.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when an antimicrobial drug – an antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral drug – is no longer effective at controlling an infection it was once used to treat. This can cause an increased risk of infection, longer infection times, and a greater risk of death.

The decreasing effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs is having a significant impact on our ability to protect Canadians from infectious diseases. It also has profound impacts on our healthcare system, global trade, agriculture, environment and health sectors.

The proposed changes to the Food and Drug Regulations would restrict the importation of certain veterinary drugs, require drug manufacturers to follow stricter rules, require provision of sales information to regulators to allow for improved monitoring of antimicrobial use, and introduce an easier way for manufacturers to sell low-risk veterinary health products. This proposed regulatory action is a priority under the Federal Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance.

Canadians will be consulted on the proposed regulatory changes for a 75 day consultation period, ending on September 8, 2016. This proposal will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on July 2, 2016.

Fast Facts:

  • The World Health Organization has concluded that inappropriate use of antibiotics in livestock is a key contributor to the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant germs, and that the use of antibiotics in animal feeds should be restricted.
  • The Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance identifies concrete steps that the Government of Canada will undertake in the areas of:
    • Surveillance - Detecting and monitoring trends and threats to inform strategies to reduce the risks and impacts of antimicrobial resistance.
    • Stewardship - Conserving the effectiveness of existing treatments through infection prevention and control guidelines, education and awareness, regulations, and oversight.
    • Innovation - Finding new solutions to counteract loss in antimicrobial effectiveness through research and development.


"Antimicrobial drugs are very important in both human and veterinary medicine to treat infections. Health Canada's proposal to strengthen the rules around the use of these drugs in livestock is one step we are taking to address the growing public health problem of antimicrobial resistance and to ensure that these drugs remain effective in the years to come."

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

Related Products

Consultation on new regulations for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) related to veterinary drugs

Associated Links

Canada Gazette, Part I

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at:


SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709

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