VFD: One Year Later

January 22, 2018 09:46 AM
Seth Shyre working cattle

The Food and Drug Administration’s veterinary feed directive (VFD) has been in effect for a year now. While the transition to veterinary oversight for medically important feed-grade antibiotics has generally progressed smoothly, questions and misunderstandings continue to crop up.

We asked bovine veterinarians around the country about the most common questions, challenges or sources of confusion among their clients? Their responses include:

Scott Crain, Meade, Kan.: The most common challenge was implementing procedures to ensure compliant rations were not accidentally mixed, becoming non-compliant.

Becky Funk, Gordon, Neb.: We have feed dealers in the area informing clientele that chlortetracycline (CTC) mineral products are still available simply by obtaining a VFD from their veterinarian. But they aren’t willing to explain the parameters that must be met for usage indications and delivery methods in order to legally use these products.  

John Maas, Ashland, Ore.: Clients have said, “I want to put CTC out for my calves to prevent anaplasmosis. I need a prescription.” Often the operation is not in an anaplasmosis area or their calves are too young to have clinical anaplasmosis. I suspect they’re trying to use the anaplasmosis label to deal with pneumonia, foot rot or pinkeye.

Tom Furman, Alliance, Neb.: The biggest challenges have not been with regular clients, but with people who come into the clinic demanding a VFD without a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Dave Sjeklocha, Satanta, Kan.: Most of the confusion we’ve seen has been the desire to treat a group of calves twice with a feed-grade antibiotic. Do we need to have a second VFD for those calves? We believe the answer is yes.

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