Veterinary Feed Directive
The FDA regulates on-farm antibiotic use in food-animal production and has eliminated the use of medically important (to human illness) antibiotics for growth promotion purposes. Therapeutic use in feed and water – to treat, control or prevent specific disease – is under veterinary oversight.
In 2010, FDA outlined its intent and recommendations regarding growth promotion uses of medically important antibiotics in food animal production. FDA also specified that veterinarian oversight will increase for the remaining therapeutic applications (prevention, treatment and control) of medically important antibiotics. This action applies to both feed-grade and water-based antibiotics.
On Dec. 11, 2013, FDA initiated a three-year transition process to complete its food-animal antibiotic strategy. This action requests animal-health companies to outline intentions to voluntarily remove any production/growth promotion uses from product labels of medically important antibiotics. The guidance also eliminates the over-the-counter status of these medications and increases veterinary oversight for on-farm therapeutic use by requiring a veterinary feed directive (VFD) for feed applications and a prescription for water treatments. This guidance went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Final VFD Rule
The implementation of the FDA’s regulations, including the VFD in the swine industry, has gone extremely well; however, we recognize that questions may still arise from time to time.