Amendments to the Livestock Medicines Act Regulation 730

Important change for livestock, poultry and fish farmers and beekeepers as of December 1, 2018: A prescription from a veterinarian will be required to purchase medically important antimicrobials

The growing resistance to antimicrobials is a significant human and animal health concern globally. Governments and the agri-food industry take this matter seriously.

That's why the federal government is taking steps to reduce the use of medically important antimicrobials, minimize the development of resistance and allow antimicrobials to continue to work when they are really needed.

As of December 1, 2018 Health Canada will limit access to these antimicrobial drugs in Canada. In particular, it is moving all medically important antimicrobial drugs for veterinary use to the Prescription Drug List, including those currently allowed for sale "over-the-counter". This means that these drugs can only be obtained with a veterinary prescription and from veterinary clinics and pharmacies.

To align provincial requirements with federal ones, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is removing medically important antimicrobials from the list of designated livestock medicines allowed to be sold over-the-counter under the Livestock Medicines Act, Regulation 730.

As of December 1, 2018, provincially licensed Livestock Medicines Outlets will no longer be able to obtain these drugs. Livestock, poultry and fish farmers, as well as beekeepers, will require a prescription to purchase medically important antimicrobials for veterinary use.

Decreasing the use of antimicrobials is an important step to minimizing the development of resistance and allowing antimicrobials to continue to work when they are really needed.

Farmers will need to have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship with a veterinarian in order to obtain prescriptions. However, farm visits may not be required each time antimicrobials are needed.

Changing Ontario's regulation will improve consistency and remove duplication, overlap and any confusion around selling medically important antimicrobials.

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