Veterinary Feed Directive
In recent years, the FDA has fundamentally changed how antibiotics can be legally used in feed and water for food-producing animals. The agency has worked to eliminate antibiotic use for growth promotion and feed efficiency and has brought therapeutic uses of antibiotics in feed and water under the direct supervision of licensed veterinarians.
The FDA has established the Veterinary Feed Directive to provide veterinarians in all states guidelines for prescribing medically necessary antibiotics in feed and water when needed for the health of food-producing animals.
How the Veterinary Feed Directive Affects You
As of January 1, 2017, every livestock producer using an antibiotic considered important to human health must comply with the Veterinary Feed Directive.
Before you can use feeds containing antibiotics for food-producing animals, you’ll need to receive a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Your licensed veterinarian must have a documented veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) with you and your animal(s) before issuing your VFD.
You’ll need a VFD for all feed products containing antibiotics, including complete feeds, medicated supplements, and crumbles. A VFD is not required for antibiotics administered by injection.
You can learn more about the Veterinarian Feed Directive directly from the FDA: Veterinary Feed Directive.
Veterinary Feed Directive Basics
Your veterinarian can write a VFD that is effective for up to six months.
Your veterinarian, your feed supplier(s), and you must keep a copy of each VFD for two years.
Extra-label use of medicated feed additives has not been and will not be allowed.
Antibiotics Regulated Under the Veterinary Feed Directive
Required Information for Your Veterinary Feed Directive
- Your veterinarian’s contact information
- Information about your animals including the location where medicated feed will be used, animal species, production class, and an estimated number of animals ingesting medicated feed
- Information about the medication including the medication prescribed, the withdrawal period for the medication, the indication for use, duration for use, and expiration date
Your First Steps to Comply with the VFD
The VFD will affect producers of all sizes, from small producers with fewer than 20 head to feedlots. All producers will need to develop a documented veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR).
The first step is to select a veterinarian and have them out to your farm or ranch to evaluate herd health and your facilities.
HPCS has two on-staff veterinarians which means we can provide the VCPR as well as write and fill your Veterinary Feed Directive.
Contact our Veterinarian
We encourage you to call Dr. Klein directly to discuss any questions you have about the VFD and its effect on your operation.
Learn More About the Upcoming Veterinary Feed Directive
The Fence Post The Veterinary Feed Directive from a Vet’s Perspective: A conversation with Hannah Klein at High Plains Cattle SupplyRead Article
The Greeley Tribune Upcoming livestock antibiotic regulations likely to hit smaller producers harderRead Article
Have Questions about the Veterinary Feed Directive?
Dr. Klein, and the HPCS staff, is here to answer any questions you have about the VFD. Let us know how we can help you understand and be prepared for this initiative.