Texas Agriculture November 18, 2016 : Page 22

Veterinary Feed Directive changes on the horizon By Julie Tomascik Associate Editor Each year brings new changes and new regulations. Next year will be no different. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, one thing will be consistent for all farms and ranches—the Veterinary Feed Di-rective (VFD). The regulations can seem intimi-dating, but the VFD is only directed at medically important antibiotics. Under the VFD, over-the-counter sales of medically important anti-microbial drugs intended for use in feed or water will end. Farmers and ranchers will be required to get pre-scriptions for the use of feed-grade and water-soluble antibiotics. To get a prescription or feed directive, live-stock and poultry owners must first establish a veterinarian-client-pa-tient-relationship (VCPR). A valid VCPR will allow the veterinarian to assist farmers and ranchers in all animal health deci-sions, especially if antibiotics are required. It includes a thorough knowledge of the farm, species of livestock, management practices and goals—a working knowledge of the farm or ranch. When livestock or poultry get sick and are in need of medication, the VCPR will assist all parties in responding to their animal health needs. “Antibiotics are not going away. Farmers and ranchers will have access to the same products, but their veterinarian will need to be involved to help make the appropri-ate decision,” said Tracy Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau associate direc-tor of Commodity and Regulatory Activities. After a VFD is written, a copy of the VFD document must be pre-sented to the feed distributor—feed store, feed mill, etc. A copy will be kept on file, and the farmer will be required to maintain the third copy for two years. The goal, according to Tomascik, is to ultimately reduce the need for antibiotics, and a cooperative effort between veterinarians and farm-ers can help make that a reality in many cases. “Good nutrition and sound man-agement practices will be further emphasized with a good veterinar-ian-client-patient relationship,” To-mascik said. Antibiotic resistance in human health is real. The Food and Drug Administration in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Con-trol have worked together to take these precautionary steps to curve back resistance development. Judicious use is just as impor-tant in agriculture as it is in hu-man health. Working together, farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and consumers can all feel confi-dent that both animal health and human health will keep in good standing, Tomascik said. 22 N OVEMBER 18 , 2016

Veterinary Feed Directive Changes on the Horizon

Julie Tomascik

Each year brings new changes and new regulations. Next year will be no different.

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, one thing will be consistent for all farms and ranches—the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD).

The regulations can seem intimidating, but the VFD is only directed at medically important antibiotics.

Under the VFD, over-the-counter sales of medically important antimicrobial drugs intended for use in feed or water will end. Farmers and ranchers will be required to get prescriptions for the use of feed-grade and water-soluble antibiotics. To get a prescription or feed directive, livestock and poultry owners must first establish a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR).

A valid VCPR will allow the veterinarian to assist farmers and ranchers in all animal health decisions, especially if antibiotics are required. It includes a thorough knowledge of the farm, species of livestock, management practices and goals—a working knowledge of the farm or ranch.

When livestock or poultry get sick and are in need of medication, the VCPR will assist all parties in responding to their animal health needs.

“Antibiotics are not going away. Farmers and ranchers will have access to the same products, but their veterinarian will need to be involved to help make the appropriate decision,” said Tracy Tomascik, Texas Farm Bureau associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities.

After a VFD is written, a copy of the VFD document must be presented to the feed distributor—feed store, feed mill, etc. A copy will be kept on file, and the farmer will be required to maintain the third copy for two years.

The goal, according to Tomascik, is to ultimately reduce the need for antibiotics, and a cooperative effort between veterinarians and farmers can help make that a reality in many cases.

“Good nutrition and sound management practices will be further emphasized with a good veterinarian-client-patient relationship,” Tomascik said.

Antibiotic resistance in human health is real. The Food and Drug Administration in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control have worked together to take these precautionary steps to curve back resistance development.

Judicious use is just as important in agriculture as it is in human health. Working together, farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and consumers can all feel confident that both animal health and human health will keep in good standing, Tomascik said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Veterinary+Feed+Directive+Changes+on+the+Horizon/2641478/358629/article.html.

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