As we move into December, the first of the New Year is approaching. This is when the new law for feed and water antibiotics will be enforced and start.
The way the law reads and is interpreted is that even if you have feed or milk replacer with antibiotics in it, you will have to have a Veterinary Feed Directive to even use it. This is what the Feds are saying and enforcing upon all of us.
This Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) is to help and satisfy everyone with the overuse of antibiotics. It is to make sure we are using them judiciously and when needed. You will notice that all claims of feed efficiency and growth promotion will be gone from the labels. This will now be illegal. We only need to use antibiotics for health of the animals and to prevent sickness.
We will only be able to use label dose for these products now. We also will not be able to use them in combination unless it has been previously approved by the F DA. They have imposed a lot of restrictions on these and implemented strict penalties if they are not followed.
When writing a VFD your veterinarian will only be able to put one animal on a VFD once. This means that if you are pulsing the antibiotics (one week on and one week off) it will take a separate VFD for each one of these feedings. And a VFD is only good for 3 months and then it will have to be renewed or re-written. These VFD’s that are written by your veterinarian will have to be kept for 2-3 years by you, your veterinarian and the feed mill that mixes the feed. This may be done by paper or in a digital format approved by the federal government. This is for trace back in case of a problem with the feed or residues in the meat or milk.
I know these sounds like a lot, but it is the way it is. Your veterinarians have been working on this for over 20 years and trying to keep it out of the system but we finally lost the fight. These VFD’s are a lot better than what it started out to be, which was to not allow any antibiotics to be used in animals. There has been a lot of compromising along the way.
Medically Important Antimicrobials
– Only potentiated sulfonamides are listed in GFI 152 however the FDA-CVM has indicated all sulfas are medically important
Not listed in 152: Ionophores, Bacitracin, Bambermycins, Carbadox, Coccidiostats, Laidlomycin