In today's Spotlight, the AVMA Division of Animal and Public Health and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association provide insight and timely information regarding the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulations, which become effective January 1, 2017.
Effective January 1, 2017, stricter federal rules will regulate how medically important antibiotics- medications that are important for treating human disease- can be administered to animals in their feed and drinking water. Among other things, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now require veterinary oversight whenever such antibiotics are administered to any food animal species via feed or water, even if the animals are not intended for food production. From pet rabbits and pigs, to backyard poultry, to large livestock farms, and even honeybees, the same restrictions will apply. All medically important antibiotics approved for use in feed or water for food animal species will require a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) or a prescription.Learn more.
By the end of this year, hundreds of antimicrobial applications for livestock will change to add veterinarian oversight and remove approval for growth and efficiency uses.
Dr. William T. Flynn, deputy director for science policy at the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the change is a substantial departure from the way antimicrobials have been used in U.S. agriculture for decades. Learn more.
Come Jan. 1, 2017, hobbyist and commercial beekeepers alike will no longer be able to purchase antimicrobials over the counter, but instead, will need a veterinary feed directive or prescription for the drugs they administer to their honeybees.
The federal mandate requiring veterinary oversight of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals, including honeybees, is part of a Food and Drug Administration strategy to reform the way these drugs are legally used in food animals. Learn more.
At the start of 2017, livestock producers must obtain a veterinary feed directive from a veterinarian with whom that producer has a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship in order to use certain antibiotics. Federal and state regulations cover the definition of a veterinary-client-patient relationship, writes veterinarian Russ Daly, who notes that the transition will be easier for producers who already work with a veterinarian.
National Pork Producers Council chief veterinarian Liz Wagstrom said the FDA has clarified some Veterinary Feed Directive guidance related to mixing feed. Producers who mix their own feed on site and feed it only to their animals do not have to register as a distributor, she said. However, producers with contract growers who distribute feed to other farms must register as distributors, even if they own the animals there.
On Jan. 1, Veterinary Feed Directive regulations take effect, and veterinarians and producers say the transition can be smooth with a little preparation. Iowa State University Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell recommends producers reach out to a veterinarian before new animals arrive, and veterinarian Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, adds that although veterinarians and producers will have more paperwork and more responsibility under the VFD, ultimately the change should support consumer confidence.
Utah State University Extension veterinarians are getting the word out to farmers to prepare for the FDA Veterinary Feed Directive that becomes effective Jan. 1. Under the directive, medication is no longer permitted in livestock feed for the purpose of weight gain, and a veterinarian's order will be needed for the use of medicated feed.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 85,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services. Structured to work for its members, the AVMA acts as a collective voice for its membership and for the profession. Learn more here.
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