New rules in place for veterinary feed directives

The Food and Drug Administration's final rule concerning Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs), which went into effect Jan. 1, is part of the agency’s overall strategy to help agriculture producers make sensible decisions when administering antimicrobials to animals that provide food for consumption, an article on the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation website said.

The article goes on to list a few key points regarding the new rule.

First, the use of certain medically important drugs in animal feed for production purposes, such as for growth promotion or feed efficiency, will no longer be allowed, the article said. The feed containing those drugs will still be available for use to prevent, control or treat disease, but only with a written authorization form filled out by a veterinarian working within the context of the Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR).

The VCPR is only considered to exist when a vet assumes responsibility for making judgments regarding the animal’s health and the need for medical treatment, the article said. Additionally the client, or owner of the animal, must agree to follow the advice of the veterinarian and the vet must have sufficient knowledge of the animal to not only diagnose its medical condition, but to be available for a follow-up evaluation or emergency coverage in the event of any sort of treatment failure.

If producers think their animals need medicated feed, they must get a written VFD from their veterinarian. The VFD must be provided to the local feed mill or other feed distributor before the producer will be able to purchase the medicated feed, the article said.

The VFD will have an expiration date, which producers must abide by, as well as adhering strictly to the prescribed use for the feed, the article said.  Distributors and veterinarians are also subject to the FDA’s new final rule.

Producers and distributors must keep their VFDs for two years, the article said.

Organizations in this Story

Ohio Farm Bureau

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