Advantage Good Agricultural Practices Manual
9.1 Animal Health Product Use
Improper use of animal health products can:
This Good Agricultural Practice applies to:
using animal health products.
What needs to be done
Use animal health products properly to avoid excessive residues and broken needles.
How to do it
Develop written practices for animal health product use
Written practices include:
the right animal health product
Establish a valid client-patient-veterinary relationship with your veterinarian. This relationship is defined differently by each veterinarian.
Seek veterinary advice when selecting animal health products to reduce risks of ineffective treatment, drug residues, antimicrobial resistance and environmental contamination.
Make sure animal health products are approved for use in the species and for the condition being treated.
If an approved animal health product is not available for treatment of a species, let your veterinarian select a product to use.
Obtain a valid veterinary prescription if animal health products or medicated feeds are to be used in an extra-label manner.
Use and handle products properly
Use all animal health products according to label and package insert instructions or according to the direction of your veterinarian.
DO NOT USE expired animal health products.
Dispose of outdated or unused animal health products, medicated feeds and administration equipment (e.g. needles and syringes) in a manner that does not pose a food safety hazard. For more information, refer to 6.4 Storage and Disposal of Farm Wastes in this manual.
Make sure you measure accurately so that correct concentrations and dosages are achieved.
Store and mix animal health products in clean, correctly labelled containers. For more information on storage, refer to 6.3 Storage of Potentially Hazardous Products in this manual.
withdrawal periods to avoid drug residues in milk, eggs and meat.
equipment for animal health products properly
Whenever you use equipment to dispense, apply or mix an animal health product, clean and flush the equipment between uses to avoid cross-contamination of medications or unnecessary injury to animals. Handle all animals with care so that animal health products are effectively delivered.
Use needles of appropriate size, based on animal age and weight, route of product delivery and viscosity of product. Consult your veterinarian if unsure.
Discard needles when they become contaminated, dirty, bent or burred.
If mixing medicated feed on-farm, use sequencing or flushing practices to prevent contamination between mixes.
Operate and maintain water medicators and medicated feed mixing equipment according to manufacturers' directions. For more information, refer to 3.1 Equipment Maintenance and Calibration in this manual.
Refer to CFIA requirements for livestock feed.
Did you know?
You will find an example of a written practice in the Training and Support Tools section.
Terms used in this Good Agricultural Practice
Approved animal health product: A health product that has passed a Health Canada regulatory process and can be legally sold in Canada. Animal health products are available as non-prescription items (over the counter) or by veterinary prescription only.
residues: Amount of animal health product that may be found in meat,
eggs, milk, honey or fish at the point of sale. Health Canada determines what
limits are considered safe. Residues below the defined maximum limit are legal;
residues above the defined maximum limit are illegal and the lot cannot be sold
for human consumption.
Did you know?
prescriptions cannot be filled at a licensed livestock
Livestock Medicines Education Program (LMEP)
Depending on the population, between approximately 3 and 10 percent of people have an allergy to penicillin. This group is at risk of experiencing an allergic reaction when consuming meats or milk that contains penicillin residues. Penicillin derivatives have been widely used for treating disease in cattle, sheep, swine and poultry. It clears quickly from the bodies of treated livestock; however, residues can accumulate in the kidneys and liver. Penicillin is available for purchase by farmers over the counter and does not require a veterinary prescription when administered according to label directions. However, the tendency with penicillin is to use greater doses than specified on the label (extra-label use). If this is the case, a veterinary prescription is required for verification of dosages to use and withdrawal times to observe. It is very important that livestock and poultry producers do not expose anyone to allergic reactions to penicillin residues from the extra-label use of this antibiotic.
Records to keep
When the wrong treatment is given
If you need an audit
Be prepared for the auditor to review:
Did you know?
In 2000, 200 tonnes of pork products produced in Quebec were recalled after carbadox residue was found. Carbadox is a growth promoter that has a 35-day withdrawal period. A veterinarian discovered some pig farmers were giving their animals carbadox only days before slaughter and not observing the withdrawal period. Carbadox is now completely banned for use in Canada as research has shown it can cause cancer in humans.
Laws and regulations that apply
There are a number of laws that directly impact on food safety regulating the use of animal health products in agricultural production. However, this section refers only to the use of animal health products that may be used to control diseases that may be spread to humans through food consumption. It does not include any laws or regulations relating to the use of products to control rabies, West Nile Virus or other such diseases that cannot be spread through eating the food made from the animal or plant.
All animal health products used on-farm must be authorized for agricultural
production, approved under various federal and provincial laws and regulations,
and sold and used in accordance with these laws. They include the Food and
Drugs Act (Canada), R.S. 1985, c. F-27, Food and Drug Regulation, Division
15; Pest Control Products Act (Canada), R.S. c. P-9; and requirements of the
Pesticide Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P-11 and R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 914; Feeds Act (Canada),
R.S. 1985, c. F-9; and the Hazardous Products Act (Canada), R.S. 1985,
The Veterinarians Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. V. 3, s. 11 provides that farmers or their household members or agricultural employees do not need to be a licensed veterinarian in order to treat their own animals. However, off-label use requires veterinary advice or other legal approval. Veterinarians who dispense drugs or substances for food-producing animals must advise recipients of appropriate withholding times (during which the animal cannot be sold for consumption) and display this information on the drug container, including where the drug will be used differently than the use or dosage that is customary or recommended by the manufacturer (s. 31). Certain drugs that require more caution, due to their potential poisonous effects, require the purchaser to sign a record (s. 29).
Did you know?
topical insecticides, such as Lysoff, require a Grower Pesticide Safety Course
certificate to purchase.
For information on the Grower Pesticide Safety Course, refer to the Ontario Pesticide Education Program website.
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