VFD guidelines at a glance
FDA’s new rule on veterinary feed directives (VFDs) will be expanded to include all medically important antibiotics used in food animals as of January 1, 2017. Here are the highlights:
- Antimicrobial medications that FDA has deemed medically important to humans should be used in food animals only to prevent, control or treat a specific disease or organism.
- A VDF must be obtained from a licensed veterinarian before using any feeds containing medically important antibiotics; a veterinary prescription is required for medically important water medications.
- Medically important antibiotics can not be used for performance benefits, such as improved weight gain or feed efficiency.
- Only those antibiotics not deemed medically important to humans that have approved FDA claims for increased growth rate and improved feed efficiency can be used to optimize performance.
- Antibiotics not considered medically important to humans may be used without a VFD, though veterinary involvement is still encouraged for all antibiotic decisions.
In-feed medications for swine that already require VFDs — avilamycin, florfenicol and tilmicosin — already adhere to these rules.
For more information on VFDs, click here.
 Veterinary Feed Directive. Final Rule. Federal Register/VOL. 80, No. 106/Wednesday, June 3, 2015/Rules and Regulations.