Source: National Library of Medicine
Antimicrobial drugs are important tools for maintaining human and animal health. Globally, antimicrobial use (AMU) in food-producing animals is under increasing scrutiny due to its potential to promote antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Historically, comprehensive Canadian data related to the types of antimicrobial drugs used, extent of use, common indicators of use and the demographics of the cattle populations receiving antimicrobial drugs have been limited, in part due to segmentation in the cattle industry and fragmentation of the drug distribution system. Appropriate AMU estimates are required to understand AMU practices, to interpret AMR levels and patterns, to meaningfully assess associated public health risks, and to inform stewardship activities. The Canadian beef cattle industry has a long history of collaboration in AMU and AMR research. Prior research projects identified both opportunities and challenges in the collection of AMU data. Cornerstone projects provided insight into the complexity of collecting AMU data in Canada’s feedlot sector. This paper will discuss how the lessons learned from past work have contributed to the formation of a Canadian fed-cattle antimicrobial surveillance program that was initiated in 2019. This important surveillance program will allow feedlot cattle AMU to improve management decisions and support AMU best practices in the evolving Canadian AMR landscape.