GFM Network News


Ottawa looks to speed up emergency access to livestock drugs

Livestock drugs not currently available in Canada could become easier to access in emergencies, if proposals for amended federal drug regulations get on the books. Health Canada, proposing to streamline the processes for emergency access to drugs for livestock as well as people and pets, on Friday announced a public comment period on its proposals, […] Read more

There’s a story to tell about antimicrobial use — and it’s a good one

Beef 911: The industry and veterinarians are doing what they should be doing to minimize resistance

There have been volumes written about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in recent years — this article will highlight some of the key points on how well the cattle industry is doing so far and what changes veterinarians may make in their recommendations going forward. For those of you who crave more detailed information, there are several […] Read more


Only about 20 per cent of cow-calf producers are using Category 1 antimicrobials on their animals in a given year, a new study shows.

Producers careful with antimicrobials, survey finds

Only 20 per cent of those surveyed ever used antimicrobials 
important in human medicine, but some resistance was found

Cow-calf producers are being careful with antimicrobials — and that’s a good news story the industry needs to share with consumers, says one of the researchers of a groundbreaking study of cattle production on the Prairies. The cattle health network, which has been tracking production practices of more than 100 cow-calf producers since 2012, found […] Read more

Research on antimicrobial use and resistance to be funded

A total of $1.5 million available for 
projects that reduce antimicrobial use 
or combat resistance

Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency are seeking research proposals focused on antimicrobial use and resistance. The two organizations will be awarding $1.5 million in grants for research in the following areas: Identify and/or develop practical and economically viable modifications to current beef production practices that reduce the need for non-ionophore […] Read more


New website focuses on antimicrobial resistance

The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association has launched a campaign called Raised with Care to inform livestock producers about upcoming changes to antimicrobial regulations and livestock production practices. “Controlling the spread of (antibiotic) resistance is essential if we hope to retain our access to these tools that save countless human and animal lives,” the association said […] Read more

Antibiotics should only be used to treat disease, not to prevent it, says veterinarian Craig Dorin.

Antibiotic resistance threat can’t be dismissed, say experts

Antibiotic use in cattle doesn’t appear to be a threat 
to human medicines, but their use must still be curbed

Despite intense scrutiny, there’s little evidence that antibiotic use in the cattle industry is increasing resistance to human medicines. But it could be causing increased resistance to antibiotics used to treat cattle, say two experts. There’s no question that using antibiotics increases the odds of bacteria becoming resistant, said Reynold Bergen, science director of the […] Read more


Tips on the proper use of livestock antibiotics

Here are Dr. Craig Dorin’s recommendations for using antimicrobials effectively. Don’t use antimicrobials for diseases that they are not indicated for. For example, abscesses are a common problem, but these are localized infections. If the animal does not have a fever and the infection is not systemic, it doesn’t need an antibiotic. Similarly, don’t use […] Read more

The Public Health Agency of Canada recently said it had found the MCR-1 gene present in three cases — two involving ground beef in Ontario in 2010 and one involving an Ottawa woman in 2011.

Livestock drug use back in the spotlight

New ‘superbug’ gene has alarm bells ringing around world and 
will likely mean more oversight of antimicrobials here

The discovery that a much feared “superbug” gene has somehow crossed the border into Canada is increasing calls for more oversight of on-farm antibiotic and antimicrobial use. The new gene, called MCR-1, makes bacteria immune to a group of antibiotics used as the last defence to fight resistant bugs. MCR-1 was confirmed to have surfaced […] Read more


Science lacking in alarmist report on beef safety

The numerous misleading statements in a new report are no reason 
for consumers to lose confidence in the safety of Canadian beef

Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center released its Beef Report last month. A number of questions, concerns and criticisms have been raised by the North American Meat Institute, the International Food Information Council, Business Insider, and others. Rather than answer the specific questions raised, Consumer Reports encouraged people to read the report more closely. […] Read more