Canadian Cattle Feeders Committed to Prudent Use of Antimicrobials

CALGARY, April 29, 2015 /CNW/ - The National Cattle Feeders' Association (NCFA) responded today to the Report of the Auditor General of Canada on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The Report provided an overview of both the Canadian and global context in regard to AMR and made a number of recommendations, including the Public Health Agency of Canada's engagement with key partners in the development of a pan-Canadian strategy, and if Health Canada has taken adequate steps to regulate the sale of antimicrobials and promote their prudent use.

The Auditor General's report considered both government and industry actions that need to be understood around the issue of AMR. For their part, Canadian cattle feeders practise prudent use of antimicrobials, with clinical oversight of veterinarians, to prevent, control, and treat infectious bacterial diseases. 

"Canadian cattle feeders recognize the important role they play in delivering safe and quality food products to consumers" said NCFA President Larry Schweitzer. "The cattle feeding sector is committed to carefully following all government regulations for the prudent use of veterinary drugs administered to food-producing animals."

The vast majority of antibiotics used to treat Canadian cattle (it is estimated that in excess of 90% are low risk Class IV ionophores) are typically not used in human medicine, negating imminent human health risk in regards to AMR.

"Cattle feeders in Canada have long recognized their role in safe food production. Therefore sophisticated record-keeping systems and rigid treatment protocols developed and monitored by their veterinarians have been used to ensure food safety. Cattle feeders have asked for and encouraged the updating of prudent use regulations for veterinary pharmaceutics," stated Dr. Eugene Janzen, Professor and Assistant Dean of Clinical Practice, Community Partnerships, UCVM.

Canada has one of the top food safety systems in the world and other countries look to the Canadian regulatory system as a model. In alignment with the Auditor General's Report, the NCFA supports an evidence-based approach for the health of their animals and continues to work in partnership with government partners to ensure regulations evolve with science and innovation.

"This is an important matter to Canadians and the NCFA has always been committed to animal care practices that put the health and safety of Canadians first," said Bryan Walton, General Manager of NCFA. "The NCFA actively supports a science-based regulatory system of evaluating and monitoring the safety, quality, and effectiveness of antimicrobial use and supports regulatory modernization that reflects scientific and innovative solutions.

The NCFA has established a valued relationship of trust with Canadian regulatory authorities. We are committed to continued collaboration with the federal government as it advances the Federal Framework for Action, and the Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada."

SOURCE National Cattle Feeders' Association

For further information: Bryan Walton, General Manager, National Cattle Feeders' Association,, (403) 250-2509; André Roy, Directeur Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec,, (514) 592-1115

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