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Canada Urges Responsible Use of Antibiotics During Animal Health Week

1 October 2014, at 1:00am

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) are recognising Animal Health Week by drawing attention to the important role played by veterinarians in keeping animals, and, in turn, humans, healthy through the appropriate use of antibiotics.

This year's Animal Health Week theme is "Our Role, Our Responsibility."

The CFIA and its veterinarians understand that these drugs should be administered exactly as prescribed in order to preserve their effectiveness as well as protect animal and livestock health. Their potential misuse contributes to the development of resistant bacteria which poses a risk to people and animals. The fight against antimicrobial resistance is one of the priorities of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and its member countries, including Canada.

The CVMA encourages all animal owners to talk with their veterinarian for advice about their pet's health as well as the appropriate and responsible use of antibiotics.

"Antimicrobial resistance is a significant public health concern. The CFIA and its veterinarians support the prudent use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs as they relate to animal health and welfare and livestock feeds," said Dr Harpreet Kochhar, Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada and Executive Director, Animal Health Directorate for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

"Not all illnesses will require an antibiotic prescription. Testing may be required in order for a veterinarian to determine whether or not an antibiotic is required. When antibiotics are required, they must be administered exactly as prescribed by a veterinarian. That includes completing the entire recommended dose," said Dr Jean Gauvin, President, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

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