Times of Change - Purchasing Prescription for Antibiotics this Calving Season

Jerome Chamberlain

Jerome Chamberlain

UFA Product Strategy Manager, Livestock

December 1, 2018 marked the beginning of significant change for cattle producers across Canada. This change, mandated by federal legislation, has made many livestock antibiotics available only through veterinary prescription, and their purchase obtainable only through a veterinary clinic or pharmacy.

We at UFA understand the concerns that this new legislation brings for cattle producers that also brings change in the products we are legally allowed to supply. We have supplied producers for decades with services and solutions, including antibiotics, for the succesful care and management of livestock.

So why the change?

This directive from Health Canada is part of a worldwide awareness for and response to the issue of antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals. As all antibiotic use can contribute to the development of resistance, its use is vital to the success of herd health on-farm, as well as supporting and maintaining the trust of our consumers. And we know that public trust is critical, as it ultimately keeps our livestock industry doors open for business, both here at home and across the globe.

So what does this mean for cow/calf producers this calving season?

As we head into the first calving season under these new regulations, it is important that cow/calf producers are aware that this new policy doesn’t just apply to injectable products, it also includes some boluses, calf scour treatments, in-feed and in-water antibiotics, as well as implants that contain Medically Important Antibiotic (MIA). MIA antibiotics are those that are considered to be essential for the treatment of bacterial infections in humans, as classified by Health Canada. In fact, there will be about 300 products that will no longer be available to you over the counter, at UFA or other retailers. A full list of affected products has been provided below.

We also strongly advise that all cow/calf producers be proactive this upcoming calving season and ensure that your operation has a valid VCPR (veterinary-client-patient relationship). This means there is an established veterinary relationship and that your veterinarian understands your operation, your management practices, your herd, and the common health issues that you face well enough to provide meaningful advice and oversight. This will safeguard the ability to best manage herd health during this busy time.

Producers should be aware that in Alberta veternarians are required to give a copy of a prescription upon request, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to purchase the medications from the veternarian who provides the prescription. That means a producer could shop around for better pricing at other veternarian clinics or pharmacies to fill the prescription.

While we of course support ongoing efforts to see best practices in the stewardship and prevention of antibiotic resistance in both human and livestock, we also share the concerns that we hear from cattle producers regarding efficiencies, product access, pricing and availability in times of need – like this calving season. That is why we were involved in industry consultations regarding this legislation coming into effect – and we will continue to work with government and industry leaders to voice the concerns of our producers, and seek solutions for the future.

Further questions or concerns? Of course, we are here to help in any way that we can. Please do not hesitate to contact your local UFA.

Wishing you a healthy and successful calving season ahead.

Cattle products containing antibiotics that now require a veterinary prescription in Canada

To best evaluate your herd health protocols this calving season, we have included the list below (as provided by Alberta Beef Producers and the Beef Research Council) for your reference. This list includes products containing antibiotics that now require veterinary prescription in Canada. These apply to all beef cattle sectors.

Category I - Very High Importance in Human Medicine: Essential for treating serious bacterial infections in people; limited or no effective alternative antibiotics available.

Licenced Drug

Brand Names




Polymixin B

A180, Baytril, Ceftiocyl, Ceftiofur, Cevaxel, EFICUR, Excede, Excenel, Special Formula 17900-Forte Suspension, Spectramast

Category II - High Importance in Human Medicine: Used to treat a variety of infections in people, including serious infections; effective alternative antibiotics are generally available.

Licenced Drug

Brand Names













*Note: The following products in bold are currently available over the counter but will require a veterinary prescription as of Dec. 1, 2018. Products in this category that are already prescription-only are not listed.

Calf Scour Bolus, Component Implants with Tylan (TE-S, E-C, E-H, E-S, TE-100, TE-200, TE-G & TE-H), Depocillin, DP Booster PWS, Enterolyte, Hi-Pencin 300, Hog Scour Suspension, Keraplex, Neo-Chlor, Neo-Tet, NeoMed 325, Neomycin 325, Neomycin SP, NeoOxytet SP, NeoSulf Plus, Neo-Sulfalyte Bolus, Neorease, Neo-Terramycin 50/50, Premix, Neotet Soluble Concentrate, Neo-Tetramed, Novodry Plus Suspension, NSE Bolus, Pen G Injection, Pen Vet 300, Penpro, Penmed, PolyTonine A Super Booster #1, Proc Pen LA, Procaine Penicillin G, Procillin, Propen LA, Pulmotil Premix, Scour-Plug, Scour Boluses, Scour Solution, Scour Suspension, Scour Treat Liquid, Sulectim Plus, Super Booster, Super Scour Calf Bolus, Tilmovet Premix, Tylan 10, 40 & 100 Premix, Tylan 200, Tylosin 10 Premix, Tylosin 40, Vetpen 300, Vibiomed Booster

Category III - Medium Importance in Human Medicine: Used to treat bacterial infections in people; effective alternative antimicrobials are generally available.

Licenced Drug

Brand Names




*Note: The following products in bold are currently available over the counter but will require a veterinary prescription as of Dec. 1, 2018. Products in this category that are already prescription-only are not listed.

2 Sulfamed, 3-Sulvit, After-Calf Bolus, Alamycin LA, Astringent Powder, Aureo S 700 G & S-700 G Drug Premix for Beef Cattle, Aureomycin 220 G, CalfSpan Tablets, Chlor 100 Medicated Premix, Chlor 50 Granular Premix, Chlor S 700 Granular Premix, Chlortet Vitamin Premix Crumbles, Compudose implant, Co-op Aureomycin Vitamin Premix Crumbles, Co-op Calf Scour Tablets, Cyclosol 200 LA, Deracin 22% Granular Premix, Footrot Boluses, Kanadom Tetracycline Hydrochloride, Liquamycin LA-200, Masterfeeds Chlor S-700 Beef Premix Crumbles, Neutral Sulfa 7 & 50, Noromycin LA, LA 300 & LP, Onycin 250 & 1000, Oxy-250 & 1000, Oxy LA Sterile Injectable, Oxy Tetra Forte & Tetra-A, Oxymycine LA, LA 300 & LP, Oxysol 62.5, 110, 220, 440 Premix, Oxytet 1000 SP, Oxytetracycline 50, 100 & 200 Granular Premix, Oxytetracycline HCI Soluble Powder 1000, Oxytetramycin 100, Oxyvet 100 LP & 200 LA, Powder 21, Proud Flesh Dust, Sodium Sulfamethazine Solution 12.5% & 25%, Sulectim Plus, Sulfa 2 Soluble Powder, Sulfa 25, Sulfa-Zine Powder, Sulfalite Powder Super, Sulfa MT, Sulfa-MT, Sulfa Urea Cream, Sulfamethazine 25% Solution, Sulfamethazine Bolus, Sulfavite, Sulmed Plus, Sustain III Bolus, Terramycin-50, -100 & -200 Premix, Tetra 55, 250, 1000 & 4000, Tetraject LA, Tetracycline 250, Tetracycline Hydrochloride, Tetramed 62.6, 250 & 1000, Triple Sulfa Bolus, Wound Clear Spray, Wound Spray, Wound Treatment

Category IV - Low Importance in Human Medicine: Not currently used in human medicine.

Licenced Drug

Brand Names






*Note: These products do not currently require a prescription, and will not require a prescription in the future.

Amprol, Ampromed, Avatec, Bovatec, Coban, Coxistac, Deccox, Kexxtone, Monensin, Posistac, Rumensin

This list was created by the Beef Cattle Research Council and Alberta Beef Producers. Please visit here for any additional or ongoing changes.

Times of Change - Purchasing Prescription for Antibiotics this Calving Season

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