Growing Forward 2 - Final Report - Page 48

QUALITY ASSURANCE FOR PRODUCERS QA and OFFSP for food-animal production systems were seen as a valuable means of assuring appropriate use of antibiotics at the farm level. Participating veterinarians saw opportunities for their own engagement in these programs to enhance their effectiveness in ensuring appropriate antibiotic use at the farm level. Existing QA1 programs in some species were seen to be relatively effective, with the Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) Program mentioned as an excellent example. Other species lacked mandatory involvement and effective implementation. In general, QA programs were seen as needing additional elements for maximum effectiveness. These additional elements include mandatory involvement, required training, drug and treatment logs, incentives and penalties (including incentives for participation in QA and penalties for high antibiotic use), protocols and SOPs, an annual audit system by an independent third party with improved surveillance of antibiotic use. Mandatory participation of producers in the QA program is essential for meaningful success. Participating veterinarians felt that a critically important component of the appropriate use of antibiotics was to have informed producers. This would allow for meaningful dialogue and understanding, with a team approach by the producer and the veterinarian to optimize antibiotic use on farms. Veterinarians felt that a critically important component of the appropriate use of antibiotics was to have informed producers. This would allow for meaningful dialogue and understanding, with a team approach by the producer and the veterinarian to optimize antibiotic use on farms. There is a suggested action to re-visit, with the intention to re-introduce, a version of the livestock medicines education courses for food animal producers. It was emphasized that these courses could aim to achieve an understanding of the rationale for the controlled availability of antibiotics (such as the need for a veterinary prescription and a VCPR), appropriate storage and use of prescribed antibiotics, proper record keeping, early identification of sick animals, approaches to improve the response to first treatment, ways to decrease the mass treatment with antibiotics, the reasons for extra label drug use, drug choices and rationale, and the consequences of misuse of antibiotics. Participating veterinarians felt that they could have a pivotal role in designing and delivering these courses. Design of the courses would include conducting pilot projects, evaluating compliance and ensuring the program is credible and practical. A key component of the QA programs would be required training on antibiotic use. In addition, successful completion of the training on a periodic basis would be required for producers to be able to purchase and use antibiotics in their operations. An essential component of QA is the development and implementation of protocols and SOPs. While the term protocol was understood to refer to a plan for treatment or prevention of a condition, an SOP is the detailed written, farm-specific document outlining a given protocol, to achieve uniformity of procedures. It was suggested that all food animal production sectors be mandated to develop treatment protocols for common diseases in consultation with veterinarians. These protocols could include appropriate product storage conditions, route(s) of administration, dosages, and withdrawal periods. As part of these protocols, producerfriendly flowcharts and decision trees to aid in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the common diseases, as well as vaccination protocols, could be created and introduced. A standardized approach to the requirements of a protocol could be used across the livestock sectors. Participating veterinarians felt there is a need to work in conjunction with producers to develop and implement farm-specific SOPs regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics. These SOPs could include the requirement to record all treatments as a critical component of best management practices. Ongoing monitoring of adherence to protocols and SOPs is a critical component of a producer QA program. 1 College of Veterinarians of Ontario‚ÄĀ For the purposes of this discussion, QA will include OFFSP. 48