Medication Usage

With support of the Canadian pork sector, Health Canada is developing and implementing additional regulations on the use of many veterinary products. The most critical changes focus on antibiotics.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are a key tool in maintaining animal health in the face of disease. Preserving their efficacy is crucial to animal health, animal welfare, food security and public health. Through responsible use of antibiotics, Canadian pork producers strive to preserve their efficacy and reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance that could pose a risk to human and animal health.

Purchasing antibiotics

As of December 1, 2018, all medically important antibiotics will require a prescription from your herd veterinarian. These will no longer be available over-the-counter (e.g. from a supply store). You will need a prescription to purchase them from a veterinarian or pharmacist, or from a commercial feed mill only as part of a supplement, premix, or complete feed. Feed mills will not be allowed to sell antibiotics outside of medicated feeds.

Medically important antibiotics include all category I, II and III antibiotics as listed in the following table.

Category

Importance to human health

Preferred choice for serious human infections

Limited or no alternatives available

Swine drug examples in each category

I

Very High

Yes

Yes

Baytril

Excenel

II

High

Yes

No

Lincomycin

Pen G

Pot Pen

Pulmotil

Tylan

III

Medium

No

No/Yes

Denagard

Oxytetracycline

Sulfa

Tetracycline

Tiamulin

IV

Low

N/A

N/A

Coxistac

Monteban

 *Visit the Canadian Animal Health Institute’s website for a more complete list of brand name products in each category.

These changes will not impact the way you purchase vaccines, category IV antibiotics and non-antibiotic veterinary products.

Category I Antibiotics

All the Category I antibiotics you were able to purchase previously will still be available to you. However, the CQA program requires that Category I antibiotics only be used for treatment purposes.

Label Claims for Growth Promotion

As of December 1, 2018, claims for growth promotion will be removed from all antibiotic product labels.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and Own Use Importation (OUI)

Health Canada has tightened the regulations around the use of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), which are products not registered in Canada, and Own Use Importation (OUI), which are products purchased by a producer outside of Canada. Health Canada will not allow OUI for medically important antibiotics. Though it is still possible to access API and OUI, it is much more controlled now. For more information, visit Health Canada’s webpages on changes to OUI and changes to API use.

Please note that the CQA program will not permit the use of Category I antibiotics in API form.

Veterinary Health Products (VHP)

Veterinary Health Products (VHP) are low-risk products that can be registered with Health Canada for label claims to “maintain” or “promote” animal health or welfare. However, they are not allowed to claim that they “treat”, “cure” or “prevent” disease. A possible example of a VHP is oregano oil. For more information, visit Health Canada’s webpage on VHP.

For further information on medication usage, contact Mark Fynn, Manager of Quality Assurance and Animal Care Programs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-235-2302.