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Veterinary Feed Directive

Veterinary Feed Directive

The new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulations will be going into effect January 1st, 2017.  What does this mean for your operation? These FAQ’s should help shed some light:

What prompted the government to change the rules regarding antibiotic use in food animals?  Why now?

These rules are in response to the concern of antibiotic resistance in both humans and animals.  There is no evidence that supports the use of antibiotics in animal’s leads to antibiotic resistance in human infections but despite this fact, there is still interest in having increased direction for antibiotic use in livestock.  Antibiotics are sometimes a necessary part of raising food animals.  Without them, animal welfare may be compromised and food safety may be put at risk.  By regulating animal medicine more closely, the government can assure the public that farmers use antibiotics responsibly and do not pose a risk to human health.

What do these new rules accomplish?

The FDA has two main goals:  First, to discontinue the subtherapeutic (growth promotion) use of medically important antibiotics. Second, to increase Veterinary direction of therapeutic uses (prevention, control and treatment of disease) of medically important antibiotics.

What medications are considered “medically important”?

The FDA split products into two different types of drugs:

  1.  Non-medically important drugs used exclusively in animals. This drug class is not affected by the new rules and will continue to be used like it was before.
  2. Medically important drugs- products deemed important for human medicine and used by both animals and humans. These drugs include penicillins, tetracyclines, and sulfas to name a few.

What do these changes mean for the average producer?

All medically important antibiotics that are fed through the feed for growth promotion will be eliminated. Antibiotics used for prevention, control, or treatment of disease and deemed important for human medicine, will now require a VFD.

What do I need to do to do prior to Jan 1, 2017?

Producers should establish a valid veterinary client patient relationship (VCPR).  The Veterinarian will assume responsibility for the clinical judgments of your herd’s health, establish sufficient knowledge of your herd and be able to provide a script when needed. They will also provide any necessary follow-up evaluation or care of your animals.

While meeting with your veterinarian:

  1.  Review animal health management protocols, vaccination protocols and medications currently being used to understand which will require a VFD.
  2.   Establish a plan on how to handle expiration dates of VFDs.
  3.   Establish a location for storing all VFDs for the mandated 2 year requirement.  If you are using electronic VFDs, work with the providers and your veterinarian to include all production sites in the system in order to make electronic VFDs quick and easy.
  4.   If you mill your own feed, fill out a one-time Acknowledgment of Distribution and Medicate Feed Mill License form.

Pipestone Vet Services is working hard to improve our abilities to get prescriptions and VFDs to clients in an easy, timely manner.  Contact your Pipestone veterinary with additional question, or to set up a visit to discuss further.

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