The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) early this past summer, should have limited effect on dairy farmers, says Jamie Jonker, vice president of sustainability and regulatory affairs, National Milk Producers Federation.
The purpose of the directive is to bring additional veterinary oversight to the therapeutic use of “medically important” antibiotics administered in feed or water. The biggest impact of the final VFD could be in medicated milk replacers. More than half of milk replacers are currently medicated. A good chunk of these are medicated with coccidiostats to control coccidiosis. These do not fall under the VFD unless they are fed in combination with shared-use, medically- important antibiotics.
Some milk replacers are medicated with oxyneo, which is a combination of oxytetracycline and neomycin. Both oxytetracycline and neomycin are on FDA’s Guidance 152 list of shared compounds medically important to humans. The new VFD will now likely require farmers to have a veterinary prescription for their use.
The scripts will have to include the number of animals treated, what disease is being treated and withdrawal period. Records will have to be maintained for 12 months.
The VFD goes into full effect December 13, 2016.