The new requirements for the Veterinary Feed Directive were officially in effect as of January first, but not without misconceptions. Producers must obtain authorization or a prescription to purchase medically important antibiotics for use in animal feed and drinking water. Medically important antibiotics are those used in treating human diseases as well. Chris Richards, Oklahoma State University Extension, is a beef cattle specialist that debunked a few of the common myths. One is that antibiotics will not be available to treat animals. “Antibiotics will still be available to treat disease,” he says. Another is that a VFD is needed for any additives. “There are many additives that don’t require a VFD unless fed in combination with antibiotics,” Richards says. Another myth is feed dealers can’t keep feed on hand until a producer has a VFD. Richards says, “Feed mills can make the product ahead of time, they just can’t sell to a producer without a VFD.” Another myth has to do with a lot of paperwork. Richards says, “A producer who has a steady relationship with a vet won’t have any trouble completing the paperwork twice a year.” The last is some species won’t have antibiotics available to them. Richards says, “Guidance documents do give vets some discretion in using antibiotics in species that don’t typically have a lot of antibiotics available to them, like goats, sheep, and llamas.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.