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The Veterinary Feed Directive will go into Effect on January 1, 2017 or sooner. There will be changes to the way Over-the-Counter drugs can be used with livestock. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the distribution and use of Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs and animal feeds containing such drugs.  So what do these federal regulatory changes mean to you and your livestock operation? Well, According to the FDA, the VFD is a “written (nonverbal) statement issued by a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian’s professional practice that orders the use of a VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on an animal’s feed”.


How does a Veterinary Feed Directive work?  This written statement authorizes the owner of and caretaker the animal(s) to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat the client’s animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved by the FDA.


Examples of drugs or products classified as “VFD” are Aureomycin 4G Crumbles (contains chlortetracycline), Scour-Ease Medicated (contains neomycin and oxytetracycline), SAV-A-CALF Scours & Pneumonia Treatment (contains neomycin sulfate and oxytetracycline), and Calf Medic Plus (contains neomycin and oxytetracycline).


Examples of drugs or products classified as “prescription” are L-S 50 Soluble Powder (contains lincomycin and spectinomycin), Sulfamed-G Soluble Powder (contains sulfadimethoxine), Di-Methox Soluble Powder (contains sulfadimethoxine), and Strike III Type B Medicated Feed (contains hygromycin B).

So what are the changes to drugs that livestock producers may have used in the past to manage the health of their livestock?  To be VFD, drugs that you may have purchased in the past as over-the-counter to be included in your feeding program(s) will now require a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) from your Veterinarian of Record with whom you have a valid Veterinary-Client-Patent-Relationship (VCPR).  If you are planning to continue using the drug(s) listed as a VFD in your feeding program, a VFD for each drug is required to be able to buy the drug or product.  VFD drugs must be followed exactly as per label.  


To be prescribed, all water soluble antibiotic and sulfa products that were labeled for administration via water will require a written prescription from your Veterinarian of Record with whom you have a Veterinary-Client Patent-Relationship (VCPR).  Livestock producers would need to have the VCPR to be able to buy these drugs or products.  


Cattle, swine, sheep, and poultry as well as other food producing species such as honey bees, fish are included in these new rules from the Food and Drug Administration.  These new changes become effective January 1, 2017 or sooner, depending on when the manufacturer changes the labeling.  Some suppliers that were able to sell these drugs or products in the past may not be able to sell them after January 1, 2017.  Consult your veterinarian for more information or call or OSU Veterinary Extension at 614-292-9453 if you have further questions about how these changes may affect your livestock operation.

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