Growing Forward 2 - Final Report - Page 51

The responses to the CVO Survey and the outcome of the CVO Facilitated Discussions indicate a strong concern on the part of many Ontario veterinarians regarding increased resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and its impact on human and animal health and welfare. Participating veterinarians, through suggested actions for change, have touched on many aspects of antibiotic use. VETERINARY STEWARDSHIP The veterinarians that participated in the CVO Project emphatically expressed their willingness to share their expertise, and to be an important source of information regarding antibiotic use in food-producing animals. Although veterinarians cannot directly influence all of the suggested actions that they have made, they can support initiatives and have direct impact on many. Veterinarians are uniquely trained and positioned to be the stewards of antibiotic use in food-producing animals. Participants in the CVO Project indicated that their own quality assurance efforts would fulfill a fundamental role in facilitating the public trust required for veterinary stewardship of antibiotic use in food-producing animals in Ontario. Stewardship implies oversight of antibiotic usage to ensure that it is appropriate in all circumstances. As stewards of antibiotic use, participating veterinarians support their appropriate use in food-producing animal practice. This would include taking steps to spare the use of antibiotics by promoting husbandry practices that maximize animal health and comfort, and minimize a reliance on antibiotics. Through the provision of vaccination protocols, effective infection control strategies and advice on facility design that ensures a stress-free environment, veterinarians can lead efforts to reduce the need for antibiotic use in food animal production. Choice of antibiotic would be science-based and all antibiotics, including those considered of great importance in human medicine, would be used sparingly and thoughtfully. All use of antibiotics would involve careful consideration of alternatives and whether or not an antibiotic is indicated, choice of the most appropriate drug based on labeling, pathogen, infection site and other factors, and would include a valid VCPR. The veterinarians that participated in the CVO Project emphatically expressed their willingness to share their expertise, and to be an important source of information regarding antibiotic use in food-producing animals. Many veterinarians involved in this study support a role in liaising with, and educating, producers, key sta