The Use of Antibacterial Drugs in Canadian Dairy Farms
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The purpose of this study was to determine the use of antibacterial drugs in Canadian dairy farms. The data collection for this report took place on 84 different dairy farms distributed over the Western Centre (Alberta), the Ontario Centre (Ontario), the Quebec Centre (Quebec), and the Atlantic Centre (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) during April till November 2007. During this period the dairy farms in Canada used 0.036 grams of active ingredient per cow per day. The use of antibacterial drugs in terms of the total amount and different antimicrobial drug classes, differed per farm and per centre. The average number of cows on a farm seems to have no influence on the use of antibiotics, in contrast to the different dairy barn types. Bedding-pack barns seem to use more antibiotics than tie-stall barns and free-stall barns. Looking at the classification of the veterinary antibiotics from human medicine importance aspect as determined by Health Canada, 55.49% of the antimicrobials used on farms are of high importance, because they are used to treat different human infections, including serious infections, and for which alternatives are generally available. The data published in this report contains useful information which may be helpful in decreasing the use of antibiotics in the future and it may also lead to safer and judicious use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine, taking the human health into account.