Updated VFD rule may help producers save money
Under the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD), veterinarians no longer need to specify how much feed needs to be manufactured with the VFD medication — a change FDA made after reviewing numerous public comments before issuing its final rule.
Previously, veterinarians writing VFDs had to include the amount of feed to be manufactured. Eliminating this requirement under the updated VFD rule gives pork producers the option of using smaller amounts of VFD feed so they can see how animals respond, FDA says.
If the response is good, producers can obtain more of the medicated feed, provided the VFD has not expired.
If animals do not respond as expected or consume VFD feed at a rate lower than originally anticipated, producers can reduce the total amount of medicated feed needed for treatment, the agency says.
FDA does not have data to estimate the reduction in feed costs to individual producers or to the total industry, but the agency believes the savings could be substantial.
Veterinarians writing VFDs are still required to indicate the approximate number of animals to be treated with the VFD medication at approved dosage levels.
 Veterinary Feed Directive, Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0155. Final Regulatory Impact Analysis. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Unfunded Mandatets Reform Act Analysis. FDA.