Welcome to The Blue Ribbon - Youth Livestock Projects blog. The purpose of this blog is to provide information, advice and suggestions for improving youth livestock projects from multiple sources. The information, advice and suggestions in this blog come from professional agricultural educators who have multiple years of experience working with youth and their livestock projects. If you ever have a question or a particular subject you would like addressed, please feel free to contact Scott Stinnett via email, or leave a comment and we will do our best to assist or address the subject. Should the question or subject be more technical, we will help direct you to an appropriate resource for the best possible answer.

Thank you,

Scott Stinnett and The Blue Ribbon Contributors

Friday, December 9, 2016

Veterinary Feed Directive

     On January 1, 2017, a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule will take affect concerning medication in livestock feed and water. Antibiotics deemed medically important for human use will no longer be available "over the counter" (OTC) to be added to livestock feed or water without a VFD. To receive a VFD, you must have an established VCPR with a veterinarian.

What is a VFD?

     VFD stands for Veterinary Feed Directive. It means a medication can only be put into an animal's feed or water under the order of your veterinarian. This will also include supplements.

     Only the animal(s) listed on the VFD can be given the medication(s) on the VFD. The medication can only be given for the amount of time listed on the VFD as well.

     Records of VFD treatments will need to be kept for two years by the vet and the youth who owns the animals.

What is a VCPR?

     VCPR stands for Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship and indicates you have a current relationship with your vet, and he or she knows you and your animals.

What medications will be affected?

     Antibiotics considered medically important for human use will not be available over the counter without a VFD. Click to see the LIST of VFD medications.

How will this affect youth?

     Currently, some pre-mixed bagged feeds, bulk feeds and supplements contain antibiotics which will be on the federal VFD list. These antibiotics will be removed from them and can only be purchased mixed in with a VFD. Any feed or supplement that does contain an antibiotic on the VFD list will be labeled "Medicated" and include a warning they require a VFD.  Antibiotics on the VFD list that can be added to water will also be unavailable without a VFD.

     Youth should check with their feed dealer to see if they will carry or can get feed and supplements containing an antibiotic on the VFD list. The feed dealer will most likely have some paperwork the youth will need to complete. Youth will also need to give the feed dealer an original copy of their VFD.

     Injectable forms of those antibiotics will still be available. Other medications and antibiotics not on the VFD list such as ionophores and coccidiostats will still be available to mix into feed and water without a VFD.

What will youth need to remember?

     1. Make sure they have a VCPR with their vet
     2. Obtain a VFD to treat sick animal(s)
     3. Work with their vet or feed dealer to get the medication on the VFD
     4. Make sure the medication is fed as instructed on the VFD
     5. Keep records of the VFD and the animal(s) treated for at least two (2) years

For More Information
     Watch the informational VIDEO from the FDA
     Youth Swine Exhibitors Guide to New Antibiotic Rules from Pork Checkoff
     VFD Youth page from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Scott Stinnett
Extension Associate
Kit Carson County
Golden Plains Area
Colorado State University Extension

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