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Nutritionist predicts impact of new VFD rules

Most regulatory checks to ensure compliance with the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule will take place at feed mills, predicts an animal nutritionist.

“FDA already has a relationship with the feed mills, and it will be the most practical place to conduct regular checks,” said Stephen Donaldson, MS, animal nutritionist, Alabama Farmers Co-op (AFC).

However, it wouldn’t be out of the question for FDA to conduct monitoring on farms and to check veterinarian compliance, he added in an article published in AFC Cooperative Farming News.

Donaldson also predicted the VFD rule could result in an abundance of new paperwork that potentially affects the cost of medicated feed because more recordkeeping and people will be needed to meet the new requirements.

“I know this is about as clear as mud, but what is clear is the way we feed and mix medicated animal feeds will change,” Donaldson said.

“We will lose the ability to mix medically important antibiotics for feed efficiency and growth promotion. It will require more planning and a relationship with a veterinarian to feed these antibiotics for disease prevention and control. It will change dramatically the way [that] medically important antibiotics are mixed and fed on the farm,” he concluded.

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