Veterinary Feed Directive: 1 Year Later

Slidder-cows

By Abby Simonsen, PCQI

By Abby Simonsen, PCQI

It is hard to believe we are almost throughout the first year of the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive. I can say this, it wasn’t as bad as we thought!  As with all new things, there are challenges. The biggest challenge was education on all sides; Veterinarians who were not accustomed to prescribing these products, Feed Mills having to practice like a pharmacy and Livestock Producers learning that they must have a directive from the Vet to feed medicated feed that they had already been feeding for years. For years, we did the medicated feed route without much thought between the groups. This year brought a cohesiveness to the group through education and lots of practice!

We figured the VFD rule would cause a drastic drop in medicated product usage. We did see a marked drop at the beginning of the year but after the rules became clearer, we saw the usage stabilize. The intent of the VFD rule was that we were not injudiciously using medications in the feed. All drug products were reviewed by the FDA to see where they fit in the new rule. Many of the products that had growth promoting claims were changed to remove the growth claim and only be used for treatment levels. This was probably our biggest change as an industry.

The VFD rule had one loophole, the Acknowledgement of Distribution, or the AOD. This document states that a producer may purchase certain products from the mill without proof of a VFD. The AOD transfers the responsibility of filling the VFD from the mill to the purchaser. The AOD states that the person who signs the form will be responsible for having the VFD in place when the animal receives the medicated feed and for keeping a record of feeding. Only two products may be purchased from CVA in this way…CTC 50 gram and CTC 100 gram.

If you are looking for more info on the Veterinary Feed Directive CLICK HERE!