Are you ready for VFD?

January, 2017
Deanna W. Thompson , DeSoto County Cooperative Extension Service, Arcadia

By now you are probably aware of the roll out of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule from the FDA that came about with the beginning of the New Year. This program will create a completely new landscape for those in the livestock industry. If you do not already have a working relationship with your local veterinarian, you should get one and soon!

What is the VFD?

The veterinary feed directive is simply a written document from a licensed veterinarian, that you have a valid working relationship with, allowing you as a producer to use a VFD drug in or on the animals feed. This written document can be referred to as a VFD order.

Whether you have been able to study up on the subject of VFD or not here are some key points to get you on track:

1. Your veterinarian can only authorize the use of antibiotics in the feed or water of your animals within a veterinary client-patient relationship (VCPR).

2. Additional antibiotics used in cattle feed which will now require a VFD include oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and tylosin. Antibiotics which are not considered medically important for humans, and therefore will not require a VFD, include monensin, lasalocid and bacitracin. However, if these are used in the feed concurrently with a VFD drug for which concurrent use of both drugs is on their respective labels, then this concurrent use must be authorized by the veterinarian on the VFD for the drug requiring veterinary oversight.

3. Antibiotics that can be used for both animals and humans are no longer allowed to be used for growth promotion purposes.

4. You cannot feed a feed that contains a VFD after the VFD order has expired.

5. The producer must keep VFD records for a minimum of two years.

The table below provides a comprehensive list of the drugs that will and will not be impacted under the VFD final rule.

Table 1

If you have questions about the VFD rule, follow the links below or contact your veterinarian.

Return to top