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About CVO

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Veterinarians are committed to the concept of One Health. Through the Canadian Veterinary Oath veterinarians demonstrate their commitment to animal health, medical knowledge and the prevention of suffering, and they also pledge to protect of the health of the public and the environment.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been called the global health crisis of our time. Concerns about antimicrobial use have led to the development of antimicrobial stewardship. Antimicrobial stewardship is a coordinated approach to optimizing the use of antimicrobials, maximizing patient care while minimizing the risk of resistance, toxicity or other adverse events.

The College Council has been demonstrating its commitment to veterinary stewardship and the responsible use of antimicrobials in animals for several years. Council has articulated its position on stewardship in a policy document which helps the public and veterinarians understand the College’s opinion on the use of antimicrobials.

The College expects veterinarians to assume a leadership role in understanding the need for antimicrobial oversight, the existing government directives, the evolving science related to pharmaceuticals, and the most appropriate current use of antimicrobial drugs. Resistance to antimicrobial drugs is increasing as a result of their use in medicine, human and animal. The veterinary profession has a duty to act as a steward with respect to the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobial drugs.

Council has demonstrated leadership in this important area of veterinary medicine with two research projects relating to food animal medicine; participation in the development of national veterinary standards related to antimicrobial use; working with the province to consider dispensing options for certain species; and also developing standards for veterinarians on prescribing and dispensing.

The College will continue to serve the public interest in partnership with provincial, national and international organizations to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance and support antimicrobial stewardship.

In this section of the website, you will find information outlining the College's work in antimicrobial resistance, information on antimicrobial stewardship, and upcoming changes to the regulatory framework.

Related Resources


Information sheet on practising with bees.


Information sheet on practising with fish. Also includes a list of veterinarians who practise on pet fish and farmed fish.

Large/Farmed Animal
Large/Farmed Animal

Information sheet on remote dispensing for large/farmed animal.

Urban Farming
Urban Farming

Information sheet for veterinarians offering services to urban farmers. Also includes a list of veterinarians who practise on small flocks.

The time is now to preserve antimicrobials for tomorrow

The rules for dispensing medically important antimicrobials are changing to better protect animal and human health. Click on the image below to learn more. 


Veterinary Stewardship of the Responsible Use of Antimicrobial Drugs in Animals

This position statement assists the public and veterinarians in understanding the College Council’s position related to the responsible use of antimicrobial drugs in animals.

Click here to read.