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Keeping Canadian livestock healthy

November 2019

"I just want to reiterate to producers and feed manufacturers the importance of knowing as much information about your feed as possible. This will help maintain market access for your products and help keep Canada's farm animal population healthy."

Tony van Vonderen, CFIA National Animal Feed Program Coordinator

In this podcast, CFIA expert Tony van Vonderen, CFIA National Animal Feed Program Coordinator, explains how modernized rules support the prudent use of medications in livestock feed to help keep our farm animals healthy.

Learn more about the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochure (CMIB).

Podcast – Discussion on recent changes to the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures – Audio Transcript

Host: Hello and welcome to this Canadian Food Inspection Agency podcast on the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures, also known as the CMIB. Recently, CFIA made changes to the CMIB to provide better direction for livestock feed users, in the use of medicated feeds. With me today is Tony van Vonderen, National Animal Feed Program Coordinator, with CFIA to discuss the CMIB and important details related to medications and livestock feed. Thank you for joining me today, Tony.

Tony: Thank you, it's good to be here and to speak about this important issue.

Host: Many of our audience are probably familiar with the CMIB. However, there may be some listeners who are new to working with livestock feed. So, if you please, give us a brief description of what the CMIB is and its purpose in relation to livestock feed.

Tony: The Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures, often referred to as the CMIB within the feed industry, is a series of lists of all the medicating ingredients permitted by Canadian regulation to be added to livestock feed. The CMIB is used by everyone in what we call the livestock feed continuum. This continuum includes vets, feed manufacturers and producers.

CMIB includes both veterinarian prescription and non-prescription or over-the-counter drug products that may be used in manufacturing livestock feed. The Compendium provides critical information relating to the manufacturing and the labelling of medicated feeds. This information provides assurance that the feeds will be effective and safe for their intended purposes. The CMIB specifies the species of livestock, the level of medication, the directions for feeding, the purpose for which each medicating ingredient may legally be used and the brand of each medicating ingredient that is approved for use in Canada. It also sets out the prescription labelling requirements, for example, medication level, approved claim, directions for use, warnings and cautions.

Host: So clearly this is an important document that helps maintain the health of Canadian livestock. How does the CMIB help producers with livestock feed?

Tony: The CMIB has several important functions that help the individual producer.

The CMIB provides clear direction to commercial feed manufacturers as to how to manufacture the medicated feed and what critical information is required to be on the label. Having this information on the label helps the user, or producer, understand how to use the feed in an appropriate way. The CMIB also identifies medications that require a veterinary prescription prior to sale.

Where feeds are manufactured on farm, the CMIB provides guidance to the on-farm feed manufacturer on how to use the medication and other critical safe use information, such as withdrawal times required before the animal can be used to provide food (meat, dairy, eggs).

If a medicated ingredient is used off-label, outside the medical purpose identified in the CMIB, it too requires a veterinary prescription before the feed is manufactured.

Host: What exactly is CFIA's role as it relates to the CMIB?

Tony: CFIA has the authority, under the federal Feeds Act and Feeds Regulations, to verify that all feed, whether imported, manufactured or sold, meets federal requirements for safety, effectiveness and labelling.

Section 14 of the Feed Regulations states that feed shall not contain medicating ingredients of a brand, at a level or for a purpose or species other than as set out in the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures.

CFIA assesses medicated feeds against the information in the CMIB to confirm that all requirements are met. If the requirements of the CMIB are not met, the feed is considered non-compliant unless it was manufactured because of a veterinary prescription.

CFIA also works closely with the Veterinary Drugs Directorate at Health Canada to keep the CMIB up to date and readily available on our website.

Host: I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who is listening to CFIA's podcast on the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures, also known as the CMIB. Again, we are talking with Tony van Vonderen, National Animal Feed Program Coordinator, with CFIA. Thank you again, Tony, for joining us today. There were changes made in 2018 to the CMIB. What were they and what does that mean for producers?

Tony: The CMIB is a primary source of information for feed manufacturers on the preparation of medicated feed and labels. Only drugs and drug combinations for the species, claims and amounts listed in the CMIB can be used in feed unless a veterinary prescription is provided to support extra label, also referred to as off-label, drug use (ELDU).

Several changes were made to the CMIB in 2018. Before April 1st, 2018, all the medications included in the CMIB were considered to be "over the counter" medications. This meant that no veterinary prescription was required as long as the CMIB requirements were followed.

In an effort to reduce antimicrobial resistance in animals and humans and increase oversight on the use of medically important antimicrobials (MIAs), Health Canada put forward a requirement that all MIAs for veterinary use would require a veterinary prescription. Since 2004, new MIAs approved by Health Canada have been included on the prescription drug list (PDL) and can only be sold with a prescription.

Health Canada's Veterinary Drugs Directorate worked with provincial and territorial partners to update the standards for MIA products approved before 2004. The updates made by Health Canada changed the current non-prescription, or over-the-counter, status to prescription. There were two main changes to the CMIB:

  1. The CMIB now lists all medications that are approved for use in livestock feed. Any medications requiring a veterinary prescription before sale are clearly identified.
  2. Veterinary drug labels can no longer include growth promotion claims for medically important antimicrobials (of MIAs). That's because the use of MIAs for growth production in food-producing animals is not a responsible use of these drugs. Antimicrobials are only meant to treat or prevent illness, not promote growth.

These changes have implications for veterinarians. Veterinary oversight is required for a producer to access feeds with medically important antimicrobials, whether on label or off label. Also, no MIA medications may be used to promote growth. It is important to note that, while the use of medically important antimicrobials to promote growth is no longer permitted, these important medications are still available for use in livestock feeds under veterinary oversight. These products are still available to treat or prevent livestock diseases.

Host: Over the last several years, there has been a lot of attention on the issue of antimicrobial resistance, especially relating to medication given to animals through feed. How does the CMIB fit within the overall issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?

Tony: Antimicrobial resistance is a complex and evolving public health issue, involving many stakeholders in Canada and internationally. The responsible use of antimicrobials is essential to protecting the health and safety of people, our food, animals and plants, here in Canada and around the world.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that approximately eighty two percent of overall antimicrobial consumption is in agriculture, mostly to promote growth or guard against disease and infection.

It is further estimated that up to 70% of this antimicrobial usage is administered via feed.

The CMIB is a primary source of information for the preparation of medicated feed and labels. Only drugs and drug combinations for the species, claims and use rates listed in the CMIB can be used in feed unless a veterinary prescription is provided to support extra-label drug use (ELDU).The modernized CMIB provides important information to the feed manufacturer. It supports the prudent use of medications by stating the specific purpose for using a medication and directions for safely using it, such as withdrawal times and any restrictions. Also, to support Canada's AMR policy, all growth-promotion claims have been removed from the CMIB.

The CMIB also provides information on medications that are not MIAs that may be used in livestock feed as an alternative to the medically important antimicrobials. These over-the-counter medications provide options for the livestock producer.

Host: Some people who may be new to the livestock feed industry, either as producers or manufacturers, may not know much about the CMIB. How is it structured? How would they go about using the CMIB?

Tony: The CMIB has five components. The first component is the backgrounder, which introduces producers to the CMIB. The backgrounder briefly explains aspects of medicated feeds, such as why feeds are used as a vehicle for medicating livestock and the role medications play in the production of livestock. The structure of the CMIB and the organization of the information in each medicating ingredient brochure (MIB) are also explained in the backgrounder chapter.

After the backgrounder, there are four indexes that allow the user to search for the most appropriate medicating ingredient to use in feed to address specific health issues. The variables refer to the organization of information, and are organized by medicating ingredient name, the brand name of each product that contains the medicating ingredient, the livestock for which each medicating ingredient is approved, and finally, the manufacturer of the brand that contains the medication.

Host: We are coming to the end of this podcast, and I am wondering if there is anything else you would like to bring up to our audience?

Tony: I just want to reiterate to producers and feed manufacturers the importance of knowing as much information about your feed as possible. Knowing where your feed is sourced plays an important role in protecting herds from animal diseases, like African swine fever. It is also important to know what medications are placed in feed. This will help maintain market access for your products and help keep Canada's farm animal population healthy.

Host: Thank you very much Tony for joining us today on this very important topic. If anyone would like further information on Canada's Feed Regulations, or any other information on feed, please go to CFIA's website at inspection.gc.ca. Thank you for listening and have a good day.

[End of recording]

Tony van Vonderen, CFIA National Animal Feed Program Coordinator

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