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Veterinary health products for use in livestock feeds: guidance for feed manufacturers

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As a pilot project, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada will allow livestock feeds to include veterinary health products (VHPs) that contain some organic acids and essential oils. The pilot project will initially include a limited group of VHPs that present a low risk to animals, food products and the feed supply. VHPs may only be used in livestock feeds once they are notified to Health Canada and listed in the Compendium of veterinary health products for use in livestock feed (compendium).


VHPs are low-risk veterinary drugs in dosage form, regulated under the Food and Drug Regulations, containing ingredients such as vitamins and herbal and traditional medicines. VHPs are used to maintain or promote the health and wellness of animals, not for use to treat, prevent or cure disease.

VHPs are regulated in a flexible and risk-appropriate way to:

They may reduce the need to use conventional drugs, including antimicrobials.

Canadian farmers already use VHPs to help keep animals healthy in different administration forms such as water, top-dress, boluses and topical. Although it is recognized that the in-feed route of administration is often the preferred way for drugs to be delivered to livestock, this pathway has not been available before the pilot project.

Planned amendments to the Feeds Regulations will propose the conditions under which VHPs may be added into feeds for food-producing animals. In advance of those regulatory changes, the pilot project will allow a limited number of VHPs to be incorporated into livestock feed.

Livestock producers have expressed a strong interest in having access to various health management tools available for use in feeds. In addition, this initiative will complement a variety of infection prevention and control measures as suggested in the Pan-Canadian Framework for Action on tackling antimicrobial resistance by providing access to additional animal health management tools as described above.


To provide guidance to feed stakeholders on the use of VHPs when they are mixed in feeds, and to ensure the consistent application of this policy.

Roles and responsibilities

Regulated parties that conduct feed-related activities are responsible for demonstrating compliance by ensuring that the feed and processes employed at the feed establishment meet all regulatory requirements.

The CFIA verifies the compliance of a feed establishment by conducting activities that include inspection and surveillance. Feeds that contain VHPs will be inspected as part of routine feed inspections. Any non-compliance will be subject to regular compliance and enforcement actions.

Guidance for manufacturers of feeds that contain veterinary health products

Commercial and on-farm feed mills will be allowed to manufacture complete feeds containing VHPs provided that the following conditions are respected:

VHPs have a notification number (NN)

VHPs received and stored at a feed establishment prior to their mixing with feeds must have a valid notification number, be listed in Health Canada's List of notified products and also be listed in Appendix 1: Compendium of veterinary health products for use in livestock feed (compendium). Only VHPs that are listed in the compendium with directions for incorporation into livestock feeds may be mixed into feeds. VHPs notified for other uses (for example, in water or for companion animals) are not permitted to be added to livestock feeds.

VHPs are used as intended

VHPs must be used as indicated in the compendium and for the species and claims for which they have been notified. Veterinary prescriptions may not be used to prescribe VHPs for use outside of what appears in the compendium.

VHPs may only be incorporated into complete feeds

For the purposes of this pilot, VHPs may only be incorporated into complete feeds. This may be expanded to other types of feed in the future, such as supplements and premixes.

VHPs cannot be added to feeds that already contain another VHP for the purpose of this pilot.

Feeds containing VHPs are labelled as per the requirements indicated in the Feeds Regulations 1983 and in the compendium. Feeds will need to be labelled with:

If a feed manufacturer does not follow this guidance, the feed would be considered out of compliance and enforcement actions may be taken. Non-compliance includes:

Some of the considerations described above will be updated to reflect an increasing scope as we move forward after the pilot phase is complete.

Using veterinary health products in feed

Types of VHPs that are allowed to be mixed in livestock feeds

The VHPs allowed to be mixed in livestock feeds are those listed in the compendium. These are also listed on Health Canada's list of notified products.

VHPs authorized for use in water or any other carrier

VHPs authorized for use in water or any other carrier cannot be mixed in livestock feeds. Only those VHPs included in the compendium can be mixed in livestock feeds.

Intermediate blending steps

Any time the directions for use indicate that an ingredient (including a VHP) is to be incorporated into a complete feed at a rate lower than 5 kg/tonne, this suggests that the ingredient is very concentrated and should be diluted to assist with uniformity of mix.

To ensure proper mixing, the VHP should first be diluted in an intermediate blending step. This is the process where the VHP is thoroughly blended with a small quantity of a feed ingredient from the formula (for example, 10 kg) before the manufacturing of the complete feed. Once blended, this "VHP intermediate blend" is added to the mixer with the rest of the ingredients indicated in the feed formula to make a complete feed. This process allows for a more uniform mix to ensure that the VHP is evenly distributed throughout the complete feed.

This step may not be necessary depending on the type of mixing equipment used by the feed manufacturer. The compendium will indicate where an intermediate mixing step is recommended.

Feed that already has another VHP

At this time and for this pilot, VHPs cannot be added to livestock feeds that already contain another VHP.

Feed that also has a medicating ingredient

At this time, only the 12 VHPs notified under this pilot and listed in Appendix 1 may be used in feeds that also contain a medicating ingredient (DIN product). Both the VHP and DIN product should be used in accordance with their label (or veterinary prescription for a prescribed DIN product), and the resulting feed label will need to include the appropriate information from the compendium of medicating ingredient brochures or veterinary prescription and the compendium in Appendix 1.

Level or directions for use than what is specified in the compendium

The level of a VHP in a feed and directions for use of the final feed must be those as indicated in the compendium.

Veterinary prescriptions

A veterinary prescription indicating a different level of VHP or directions for use contrary to those indicated in the compendium does not supersede the level and directions for use contained in the compendium.

Related information

Appendix 1: Compendium of veterinary health products for use in livestock feed

Veterinary health products listed in this compendium are intended for use in complete feeds in compliance with the species, levels, and labelling requirements, including any warning and caution statements, indicated in the compendium for each product.

Brand name Notification number Notifier
Botamix-P + NN.T1X5 DCL Nutrition et santé animale Inc.
BOVICARE Gut Health NN.K1H7 Jefo Nutrition Inc.
CAPS OP NN.F6F4 Probiotech International Inc.
EnteroStart NN.I7D6 CBS Bio Platforms
GALLICARE Gut Health NN.I6T0 Jefo Nutrition Inc.
GastroHealth NN.Q5K9 Novibio Inc.
Ingesta NN.C2M8 Novibio Inc.
Phyteck-P+ NN.A0S2 DCL Nutrition et santé animale Inc.
Phytogen liquid NN.M5V7 CanMan Group Ltd.
Phytogen powder NN.C5U6 CanMan Group Ltd.
Synerco NN.D0H2 Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc.
Xtract N NN.J0Y1 ADM Animal Nutrition
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