CAHI Welcomes Measures by Health Canada to Strengthen Antimicrobial Stewardship in Animals

October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017 – The Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) and its members are in full support of a number of upcoming regulatory and policy changes by Health Canada that increase veterinary oversight over the use of Medically Important Antimicrobials (MIA), including their move to prescription drug status by December 1, 2018. 

“Recent regulatory amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations were critical to Canada aligning its food safety standards and antimicrobial stewardship activities to that of other developed countries”, said Daniel Beauchamp, Chair of the CAHI Board of Directors. “Responsible antimicrobial use in animals is important to animal medicine and in a One Health context, something CAHI members recognise.”

Specific regulatory amendments included: 1) the end of Own Use Importation of MIA by animal owners effective November 13, 2017, 2) increased oversight and new rules for the handling of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for veterinary use starting May 17, 2018, 3) the mandatory reporting of sales information related to MIA, and 4) new requirements and the expansion of the veterinary health products program. Additional policy changes include moving all MIA to veterinary prescription only use.

“The reporting of volumes of antimicrobials distributed is something CAHI has voluntarily done on behalf of its members for over a decade to support the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Surveillance Resistance Surveillance by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This also helps Canada meet reporting requirements at the World Health Organization.” says Jean Szkotnicki, CAHI President. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Other actions CAHI has voluntarily taken with respect to MIA to support responsible antimicrobial use includes:

  • Lobbying Health Canada to end Own Use Importation and increase oversight of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient use;
  • Committing voluntarily to remove growth promotion claims from product labels by December 1, 2018;
  • Encouraging Health Canada to take steps to align with veterinary antimicrobial use policies in other jurisdictions; and
  • Creating the responsible use logo for voluntary use on veterinary product labels.

CAHI is the trade association representing the manufacturers and distributors of animal health products in Canada. CAHI members provide Canada’s veterinarians and animal owners with the animal health products necessary to maintain the health of our pets and food animal population.  More on CAHI, and the changes regarding veterinary antimicrobial use, can be found on our website at:

Colleen McElwain


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