Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tougher antibiotic use rules proposed

Health Canada has posted its proposals to tighten restrictions on using antibiotics on farms.

The proposals would make it more difficult for farmers to import veterinary pharmaceuticals, would make it easier for veterinarians to prescribe some antibiotics and would require marketers to reveal sales data.

The proposals are posted in the Canada Gazette. There is a public comment period until Sept. 15.

The proposals come in the context of decades-long concerns that on-farm use of antibiotics, particularly at low dosages, increases the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and that, in turn, threatens public health.

Recently antibiotic manufacturers have said they will stop selling them as growth promotants, but critics counter that they will still be able to sell them the same way for disease prevention.

There have also been moves by some food retailers to require suppliers to buy livestock and poultry that have not been treated with antibiotics.