By John Maday
Ongoing education will be critical for livestock producers and veterinarians to adapt to upcoming changes in rules governing antibiotic use in animals. That message dominated a new report Farm Foundation presented during a summit this week in Washington, DC.
Over the summer and fall of 2015, Farm Foundation conducted a series of 12 workshops across the country to discuss the FDA’s veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules and Guidance for Industry 213. The new VFD rules will require veterinarian oversight for the use of most feed-grade antibiotics, while Guidance 213 removes label claims for animal-performance uses from medically important antibiotics by the end of this year.
The report, titled “Stewardship of Antimicrobial Drug Use in Food-Producing Animals,” details the discussions during those meetings and results of surveys Farm Foundation conducted with workshop participants.
Among the 340 participants who responded to the surveys, 25 percent were veterinarians, 19 percent were producers and 18 percent were university educators. Remaining participants included government officials, animal-health suppliers, feed suppliers, animal nutritionists and others.
When asked to rate their awareness of the changes related to Guidance 213 on a 1-to-10 scale, feed suppliers indicated the highest level of awareness with an average score of 6.67. Awareness among veterinarians averaged 6.27, while awareness among producers was lowest at 4.55.
When asked the same question about the VFD rule, feed suppliers rated their awareness at 7.53, veterinarians at 6.55 and producers at 4.5.
It is important to note that these survey results came from people who took the time to attend the workshops, and therefor were likely to have a higher-than-average level of knowledge of the issue compared with the overall population of livestock producers, veterinarians and other stakeholders.
More at www.BovineVetOnline.com.