Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD)

The Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) is part of Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch.

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What we do

The Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) works to protect human and animal health and the safety of Canada's food supply. We do this by evaluating and monitoring the safety, quality, and effectiveness of veterinary drugs. We also set standards for food safety and promote the responsible use of veterinary drugs for pets and food-producing animals.

The directorate’s employees come from a variety of backgrounds including veterinary medicine, biology, microbiology, toxicology, pharmacology, epidemiology, parasitology, animal sciences, aquaculture, environmental health safety, chemistry, IT/knowledge management, communications, policy, finance, and administration.

Offices and divisions

Our directorate has six divisions:

Director General’s Office

This office manages the planning, administration, and financial operations of the directorate.

Human Safety Division

The Human Safety Division evaluates new drugs to assess potential hazards to human health because of their use in food-producing animals. We also conduct health risk assessments for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). We establish mandatory withdrawal periods and maximum residue limits for veterinary drugs in food derived from animals, and develop warning statements for veterinary drug labels.

Our division oversees Veterinary Health Products (VHPs) for use in food and companion animals.  We also develop associated policies relating to the human safety of veterinary drugs, including antimicrobial resistance. 

We work closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and other federal government partners to protect food safety and public health.

Manufacturing and Chemical Evaluation Division

This division examines the manufacturing, quality control, and packaging of new veterinary drugs sold in Canada to maintain strict standards. We also work to further the development and implementation of science-based policies and guidelines for veterinary drugs.

Clinical Evaluation Division

The Clinical Evaluation Division conducts pre-market, science-based evaluations and develops policies for the safety and effectiveness of veterinary drugs. We also ensure that labels have clear directions for use. Through the Emergency Drug Release Program, we authorize the sale of an unapproved veterinary drug to a Canadian veterinarian.

Our division is also responsible for post-market safety surveillance of veterinary drugs sold in Canada.

Submission and Knowledge Management Division

The Submission and Knowledge Management Division manages the submissions for veterinary drugs. We receive, process, and screen submissions and provide regulatory advice for veterinary drugs. We also prepare notices of compliance once a veterinary drug submission has been reviewed and cleared for sale in Canada. We are also responsible for developing the operational processes for submission management, and for the project management of submissions under review.

Policy, Planning and International Affairs Division

The Policy, Planning and International Affairs Division is responsible for the coordination of the Veterinary Drugs Directorate policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with departmental, federal, and international policies, acts and regulations. We are also responsible for public consultations and regulatory amendments proposed by the directorate. We work to develop and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders. This division is also responsible for regulatory cooperation initiatives with international regulatory agencies.

For more information

Contact Us

You can reach all of the offices and divisions by:

Telephone: 613-321-4239

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