Planned Antimicrobial Use Changes Retain Flexibility

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Farmscape for March 13, 2018

Full Interview 9:33 Listen

A veterinarian with South West Ontario Veterinary Services says the Government of Canada’s approach to curbing the over use of antibiotics offers much more flexibility than that of other nations. The Government of Canada is tightening regulations governing the use of antibiotics in livestock production.
“Medications-The changing rules” will be discussed during the London Swine Conference set for March 27 and 28.
Dr. Greg Wideman, a veterinarian and partner with South West Ontario Veterinary Services, says antibiotic use is under public scrutiny because of the potential negative impact of antimicrobial resistance on human health.

Clip-Dr. Greg Wideman-South West Ontario Veterinary Services:
On a farm where we have a disease that is challenging for animal welfare and food safety and productivity that is there through no fault of the producer, if we had a western European style of antimicrobial reduction control where we had a hard threshold, I think that there is a real risk there that even in spite of good management that producers who have the misfortune to be infected with a severe disease would have trouble falling underneath the required threshold. In Canada’s approach we are still going to be allowed to execute professional judgment on the use of antimicrobials on the farm. We’re gong to be able to respond with antimicrobials if and when a disease arrives at a farm. In that management is and will continue to be extremely important but I’m comforted by the fact that we are still going to have access to all of the antimicrobials we have access to now as needed on specific farms in specific situations.

Dr. Wideman suggests reduced antibiotic use will offer producers an opportunity to lower their costs of production and as long as that’s done in consultation with the advisors to the farm, including the veterinarian, it will not likely lead to problems with animal welfare, food safety or productivity of the farm.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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