Find the details of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule from the FDA that started at the beginning of the New Year.


If you have livestock, then you’ve surely heard of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), It’s a ruling by the FDA that livestock producers must have a “working relationship” with a local licensed veterinarian in order to get written documentation allowing you as a producer to use a VFD drug in or on the animals feed. The details of the Veterinary Feed Directive are shared in a UF/IFAS article. See a summary of it below.


Veterinary Feed Directive Details


The VFD program took effect at the beginning of 2017. The UF/IFAS article labels a VFD as “a written document from a licensed veterinarian, that you have a valid working relationship with, allowing you as a producer to use a VFD drug in or on the animals feed. This written document can be referred to as a VFD order.”


Important points of the ruling include:

  1. Your veterinarian can only authorize the use of antibiotics in the feed or water of your animals if you have a veterinary client-patient relationship (VCPR). Establish a relationship with a local, licensed vet now; this means they come out to your farm or ranch and have a relative understanding of the ins and outs of your operation.
  2. Additional antibiotics used in cattle feed which will now require a VFD include oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and tylosin.
  3. Antibiotics which are not considered medically important for humans, and therefore will not require a VFD, include monensin, lasalocid and bacitracin. However, the UF/IFAS article maintains that “if these are used in the feed along with a VFD drug for which concurrent use of both drugs is on their respective labels, then this concurrent use must be authorized by the veterinarian on the VFD for the drug requiring veterinary oversight.”
  4. Antibiotics that can be used for animals and humans alike can no longer allowed to be used for growth promotion purposes.
  5. Feed that required a Veterinary Feed Directive due to antibiotics or other VFD drug cannot be kept after the VFD order has expired.
  6. Producers are required to keep VFD records for at least two years.

See the UF/IFAS article for a table with a comprehensive list of the drugs that will and will not be impacted under the VFD final rule.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.


Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture.