FDA Veterinary Feed Directive impacts dairy medication as of Jan. 1

FDA Veterinary Feed Directive impacts dairy medication as of Jan. 1

By David Volleman, TAD Board and Advisory Committee, Texas Office of State Chemist
Feb. 1, 2017

Medications in feed and water have commonly been used to aid the overall health and treatment of a group of animals, making it less stressful to prevent common problems, such as foot rot, rather than treating each animal individually.

New FDA regulations for the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), which took effect Jan. 1, allow producers to continue to use certain antibiotics in feed and water through a more stringent approval process, requiring veterinarian consent.

The purpose of the VFD regulations is to instill a more judicious use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals.

To accomplish this goal, antibiotics consumed through feed and water will be treated similar to injectable antibiotics, supplied through veterinarian prescriptions.

A VFD is a written statement issued by a licensed veterinarian that authorizes the use of a VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on animal feed.

Producers will provide a copy of the VFD to their feed suppliers in order to obtain these regulated medicated feeds. Producers must maintain a copy of the VFD order for a minimum of two years and provide original VFD orders, as well as copies, for inspection by the FDA upon request.

Veterinary Feed Directive drugs or feeds containing VFD drugs must prominently display a specifically worded cautionary statement that will distinguish a VFD drug from an over-the-counter drug, which does not have the cautionary statement and is not required to have a VFD.

Examples of medications regulated by the VFD are CTC (Chlortetracycline HCL), AS-700 (Aureomycin S-700), Oxytetracycline, Tylosin, Neomycin, Sulfamethazine and Lincoymycin. The VFD currently does not include coccidiostats or ionophores.

When producers incorporate VFD regulated medications into their own feeds on site, a VFD is necessary before mixing any antibiotics into the feed.

All VFDs will contain an expiration date and a duration of use.

The expiration date specifies the time the VFD is valid, and VFD feed should not be fed after this date. The expiration date should be specified on the label and cannot exceed six months after the date of issuance. The duration of use is the time the animals will be receiving the VFD feed. If the feed will expire before the duration of use is to be completed, a new VFD is required.

After the VFD regulations take effect Jan. 1, all feeds containing antibiotics will need to have a VFD issued by the farm’s official veterinarian, including feeds still in inventory on Jan. 1, even if purchased before that date.

The official veterinarian prescribing the VFD must be licensed and have a current Veterinary Client Patient Relationship with the farm according to state and federal laws.

To learn more about the VFD, and access fact sheets, brochures and other information, visit the FDA’s website: http://bit.ly/1OiyVxz.




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