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Canadian Animal Health Institute presents leadership awards

July 6, 2020  by Canadian Animal Health Institute

The Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) has presented Jean Szkotnicki, retired CAHI president, with the Industry Leadership Award in recognition of her many years of service to the Canadian animal health industry. Szkotnicki’s collaborative approach earned the trust and respect of government regulators in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Through her contributions and leadership she has worked tirelessly on behalf of Canadian farm families and pet owners.

“[Jean] has been a passionate advocate and her devotion to CAHI, and animal health, is undeniable,” said Jair Garcia, CAHI chair (Zoetis).

Upon receiving the award, Szkotnicki expressed her appreciation for the honour. “Thank you so very much for this award,” Szkotnicki said. “I am proud to have been able to work with a talented team of people from the animal health industry to positively impact veterinary medicine and animal well-being.”

Szkotnicki was an early supporter of a harmonized global approach to the technical requirements for animal health product regulatory programs to encourage investment, innovation and competitiveness.  Through her work with the CAHI, Szkotnicki has been a longstanding contributor to the Canadian Animal Health Product Regulatory Advisory Committee, Health for Animals and the International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Veterinary Products Registration (VICH).


After decades of advocacy, Szkotnicki’s efforts resulted in regulatory and policy changes to enhance antimicrobial stewardship in Canada. These changes were implemented in 2018 to remove gaps that permitted the importation and use of animal health products which were not approved by Health Canada. This significant policy change reduced the risk posed to animal and human health by unlicensed products, as well as to Canada’s trade in food animal products, and improved our collective ability to support the stewardship of antimicrobials in the practice of veterinary medicine.

CAHI also recognized Toni Bothwell, director of regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance at Zoetis Canada, with the internal Recognizing its Leaders Award. Bothwell is an industry expert and a dedicated leader within the CAHI membership. As chair of CAHI’s Drug Committee and an industry representative on Health Canada’s Canadian Animal Health Products Regulatory Advisory Committee, Bothwell demonstrates enthusiasm and leadership in various regulatory discussions with government officials and industry stakeholders.

“Toni has been an inspirational and tireless supporter of both CAHI and the animal health industry,” said Catherine Filejski, CAHI president and CEO. “The impact of her efforts in support of the animal health industry have been instrumental in fostering closer relationships between pharmaceutical companies and the Canadian regulatory agencies.”

“The contributions of the animal health industry to food security in Canada are key,” Bothwell said upon receiving the award. “I have been honoured to work closely with industry, producers and government sectors to contribute to our safe food supply, to engage in international regulatory harmonization and further, and to pull industry together to address high profile human health issues including antimicrobial resistance.”

The Canadian Animal Health Institute is the trade association representing the manufacturers and distributors of animal medications in Canada. The Industry Leadership Award recognizes and honours outstanding leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the field of Canadian animal health.


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