Veterinary Feed Directive Rule

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There will be a meeting about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule on January 12, 2017, at 6 p.m. at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, 455 Caton Road, Lumberton. The meeting will discuss the VFD rule in more depth and Robeson County veterinarians will be present to address how they will handle the rule.

There has been a lot of conversation about the VFD rule, also known as Guidance 213, and what it will mean for food animal producers as well as the veterinary community. The VFD rule will be implemented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effective January 1, 2017, with no phase implementation. The VFD rule will require that the use of medically important antimicrobials used in feed and water for food-producing animals be authorized or prescribed by a licensed veterinarian in the state where the animal is located. The prescription or authorization from a veterinarian will indicate the drug name, amount of drug to be used, and an expiration date.

Medically important antimicrobials are products that are used for both veterinary and human health. The criteria for medically important antimicrobials can be found at the FDA website under document GFI: 152. Penicillin, aminoglycoside, and tetracycline are the most common (but not exclusive) antimicrobials to animal producers that will be regulated by the VFD rule.

The VFD rule will require animal producers to have a relationship with a veterinarian, called a veterinarian-client-patient relationship defined by each state. The veterinarian will be actively engaged with the animal producer and assume responsibility to make clinical judgments about animal health, have sufficient knowledge of the animal by examination and/or visits to the facility or farm where the animal is managed, and provide follow-up evaluation or care.

The FDA implemented the VFD rule to ensure that antibiotics used in feed and water are used in a judicious manner (for the treatment, control, and prevention of disease) according to label directions and only when appropriate for specific animal health needs. The FDA does recognize the importance of antimicrobials in treating, controlling, and preventing disease in food-producing animals but are communicating to veterinary organizations, animal producer organizations, and other stakeholders that continuous or undefined durations of use is not consistent with judicious-use principles.

The 2017 Cape Fear Regional Cattle Conference will be held January 24, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. at the Southeastern N.C. Agricultural Events Center, 1027 Highway 74 East, Lumberton. For more information or to register for these events, please contact Taylor Chavis, Extension Livestock Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.