Growing Forward 2 - Final Report - Page 5

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario Growing Forward 2 (CVO) Project was developed to explore the current practises, views and suggested actions of Ontario veterinarians on the issue of antibiotic use in food-producing animals in Ontario. Through a process spanning from April 2014 to September 2015, which involved a background review, a survey, facilitated discussion sessions with veterinarians, and consultation with stakeholder groups, the CVO Project has produced suggested actions regarding veterinary stewardship of antibiotic use in Ontario. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) protects and serves the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine. Accordingly, veterinarians are licensed, facilities are accredited, standards and policies are developed and maintained, and an investigations and resolutions process is available. The CVO licenses approximately 4,500 veterinarians and accredits over 2,100 veterinary facilities in Ontario. Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a comprehensive federal/provincial/territorial agreement aimed at encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s AgriFood and Agri-Products sector. In Ontario, government is investing money over five years. Funding assistance is provided for projects that align with one or more of six specified focus areas, two of which are directly related to veterinary medicine – animal health and assurance systems (food safety, traceability and animal welfare). As part of its strategic plan for 2014-2017, the CVO Council saw an opportunity to demonstrate leadership, in collaboration with the profession, in the area of One Health, which is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment. Given the continuing interest in, and increasing discussion about, antibiotic use in food animals at all levels and by multiple sectors, it was deemed consistent with the CVO public interest mandate to facilitate dialogue with Ontario veterinarians on the topic of profession-based stewardship in this area. Veterinarians expressed a willingness to utilize their expertise and training to serve as stewards of antibiotic use in foodproducing animals in Ontario. While the College is the lead organization for this effort, the CVO Project has an Advisory Group made up of representatives from: • • • • • • • • • • • Canadian Animal Health Institute Canadian Veterinary Medical Association College of Veterinarians of Ontario Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners Ontario Association of Poultry Practitioners Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians Ontario Livestock & Poultry Council Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Public Health Agency of Canada Small Ruminant Veterinarians of Ontario This unique CVO Project provided a factual context on which to base discussion about the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, with veterinarians directly involved in practise and the front line of antibiotic use. Actions suggested by the veterinarians who participated in this CVO Project were far reaching. These actions included legislation and regulation, research, education and liaison, and quality assurance initiatives, but were not assessed for feasibility or potential impact. Some veterinarians expressed a willingness to utilize their expertise and training to serve as stewards of antibiotic use in food-producing animals in Ontario. The feedback indicated that a detailed review of the ideas generated is warranted. It was proposed that a next phase of this project would include evaluation of the suggested actions as to their potential positive impact on the appropriate use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. If determined to be of value, these suggestions could lead to tangible advancement and the desired demonstrated leadership by the profession as a whole. 5  Antibiotic Use in Food-Producing Animals in Ontario: A Study of the Current Practises and Perceptions of Ontario Veterinarians