With the new regulations being passed down by the FDA, it’s easy to get confused about the VFD (Veterinary Feed Directive). That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together a few questions and answers for you. Take the time to read through them and, if you have any more, let us know and we will try and get the answer for you.
What is the Veterinary Feed Directive?
Simply put, it requires the intervention of a veterinarian before any medication is given to livestock. When before, a grower could simply go to the local farm store and get the medication, now they will have to go to a vet. It is different than a Veterinary prescription in that it isn’t regulated by the board of pharmacy, thus it simplifies the inventory control, as well as the dispensing of the medication.
Why was the VFD developed?
The major reason behind implementing this new protocol is the fear of antibiotic resistance due to daily antibiotic use. After removing all use of feed antibiotic, it was discovered that it was needful to fight infections. Rather than give control back to the grower, the FDA decided to put it in the hands of trained vets.
What medicine will be regulated?
It is important to note that only those antibiotics that are considered “medically important to humans” will be affected. Drugs used for insect control or reproduction control will not be affected.
How will is reflect my record keeping?
As part of the VFD act, owners will be required to keep:
- Copy of the signed VFD for two years
- VFD medication records, including records of the feed mixing, should be kept and made available to the FDA upon request
Can I use the same VFD for multiple cattle?
Yes. One VFD can be used to cover the same condition in multiple cattle, regardless if they are in the same location. However, some VFD antibiotics will be labeled for a particular situation, such as “Use in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter” or “fed in a complete feed.” If there is a special label, use in pasture fed cattle may not be allowed.
Will the VFD work with breeding cattle?
This will all depend on the labeling of the medication. Most of the antibiotics will not have been studied in breeding cattle so there may be some restrictions.
Will there be flexibility on how I can dose on a VFD?
The simple answer, NO! The long answer is still, NO! The reasoning behind the VFD regulation is to remove control of these antibiotics out of the hands of the growers.
Will the VFD expire?
Yes. The veterinarian will be required to place an effective date and expiration date. The antibiotic cannot be used past the expiration date.
What medications will reguire a VFD?
Any antibiotic considered by the FDA to be medically important to humans. Here is a list of some antibiotics that will require a VFD:
- Chlortetracycline (Aureomycin, CLTC, Pennchlor)
• Chlortetracycline + Sulfamethazine (Aureo S 700)
• Neomycin + Oxytetracycline (Neo-Terramycin, Neo-Oxy)
• Oxytetracycline (Terramycin, Pennox)
• Tylosin (Tylan)
• Virginiamycin (V-Max)
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Here is a list that won’t require a VFD
- amprolium (Corid),
- bacitracin (Albac, BMD),
- bambermycin (Gainpro),
- decoquinate (Deccox),
- fenbendazole (Safe-Guard),
- laidlomycin (Cattlyst),
- lasalocid (Bovatec),
- melengestrol acetate (MGA),
- methoprene (Altosid),
- monensin (Rumensin),
- morantel (Rumatel),
- poloxalene (Bloat Guard)
- ractopamine (Optaflexx, Actogain),
- tetraclovinphos (Rabon).
When does the now policy take place?
The new labeling became available in January of this year. Starting on January 1, 2017, all feed grade antibiotics will require a VFD
For more information, check out FDA website for a complete listing of the new rules.