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Canada Develops Antibiotic Research Strategy for Beef Industry

12 May 2016

CANADA - A strategy for antimicrobial resistance research in the beef industry has been developed in Canada, to help make the best use of increased available funding to drive solutions.

The new National Beef Antimicrobial Research Strategy was developed by the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the National Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT).

As concerns grow about the continued effectiveness of antimicrobials in human health and questions arise about the contribution of modern beef production to antimicrobial resistance in human medicine, the beef industry is increasingly pressured to reconsider its methods of combatting harmful bacteria in cattle.

BCRC said research will play a critical role in the industry’s ability to reduce medically-important antimicrobial use and to develop, identify and implement effective, responsible alternatives to antimicrobials.

“There’s no doubt antimicrobial resistance, use and their alternatives are a high priority in terms of policy, research, and regulations,” said Tim Oleksyn, a cow-calf producer from Shellbrook, Saskatchewan and Chair of the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC).

“It is important for the industry to have a comprehensive strategy with clearly defined outcomes to ensure every research dollar helps make progress in addressing human health and public confidence concerns, while also ensuring animal welfare and industry sustainability are maintained.”

The Strategy is a result of extensive consultation with all major stakeholder groups. It identifies priority research outcomes for the Canadian beef industry and has gained commitment from Canada’s major beef research funders to focus on achieving these outcomes. 

“The beef industry has a responsibility and an opportunity to help guide and direct valuable investments intended to help protect the effectiveness of antimicrobials,” added Mr Oleksyn. “By collaborating with research funders and other major stakeholder groups, we can achieve the most meaningful outcomes relevant to both the beef industry and the Canadian public.”

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