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Take inventory of antibiotics used now to prepare for updated VFD rule

Making an inventory of antibiotic medications currently used is an important first step that food-animal producers can take to ensure they are prepared for the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule, advises Sandy Stuttgen, DVM, a University of Wisconsin agriculture educator, Taylor County.

Next, determine if any of the antibiotic medications in use will transition to VFD drugs as of January 2017 — and consider if they are really needed, Stuttgen says in an article on the university’s Extension website.

It’s also a good idea to identify hazards that contribute to the need for antibiotics and figure out ways they can be remedied. This might require considering vaccination strategies, stocking rates, ventilation and other management practices.

VFDs need to be obtained within the context of a veterinary-client-patient relationship. “So it behooves you to find, hire and keep a veterinarian on your team,” the veterinarian says.

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