Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Mary Jane Ireland, Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), today issued the following statement in recognition of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week:

“It’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) and this year’s theme is “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance”. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) supports WAAW in Canada by increasing awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a global public health issue.

AMR occurs naturally over time as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. The choice of antimicrobials we use and how we use them in people, animals and the environment can lead to the development of resistance and make some drugs ineffective. Coordinated action between all sectors is crucial, and this is why this complex problem requires a One Health approach.

At the CFIA, we are working closely with Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial and territorial authorities, veterinarians and food animal producers to address AMR in Canada in the following ways:

Providing guidance for livestock feed users in the use of medicated feeds that is consistent with Canada’s efforts to improve oversight and responsible use of antimicrobials in food animals.
Collaborating with national and international partners to advance policy, research and innovation in Canada and abroad, including research on diagnostics, new antimicrobials and alternatives to using antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine. This includes being an active member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Safeguarding the future of antimicrobial effectiveness by raising awareness with Canadians, healthcare professionals, veterinary health professionals, and all levels of government across multiple sectors about the crucial roles they play in combatting AMR.
Supporting stakeholders such as the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in the development and launch of The Stewardship of Antimicrobials by Veterinarians Initiative (SAVI), which is providing veterinary professionals with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions on antimicrobial use in a wide range of species.
Supporting efforts nationally and internationally for good veterinary controls over the registration, importation, distribution and use of antimicrobials.

Now more than ever, we must continue to work together and adopt a “One Health” approach to reduce the impact of AMR on our health and healthcare system. Find out what you can do to help.”