Monday, February 01, 2016

Veterinary Feed Directive will impact whole livestock industry, but many aren't aware of the regulation

When the Veterinary Feed Directive goes into effect in 2017, it will impact nearly everyone in the livestock industry. But at the Colorado Farm Show this week, when Christine Gabel, territory business manager with animal health company Zoetis asked a room of farmers and ranchers if they’d heard of it, she was met with silence. Most looked to their neighbors, foreheads crinkled under the brims of cowboy and baseball hats. “It’s going to impact all of us,” Gabel said, surprised and concerned so few people knew about the regulation. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration implemented the Veterinary Feed Directive, or VFD, which will require farmers to get prescriptions on most antibiotics they would normally get over the counter for their livestock feed. Farmers worry this could have dramatic effects on their operations. Come Jan. 1, 2017, every livestock producer who uses an antibiotic considered important to human health, such as penicillin or sulfa, will have to comply. The regulation covers antimicrobial drugs administered via feed or water, but not via injection. It also will hit every retailer that sells these products and every veterinarian. The directive was created to limit the use of antibiotics only for disease treatment, control and prevention, rather than for growth or maintenance purposes, Gabel said...more

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