New AVMA tool will help all veterinarians who prescribe antimicrobials to livestock species

agriculture_feed_handDo you ever treat food-producing animals, including any that are kept as pets? If so, we have a new resource that you need to know about.

The AVMA has just published a fillable Veterinary Feed Directive order form (PDF), which is available for AVMA members to download. We’ve also provided instructions on how to fill out the form and steps to follow when writing a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) order.

A federal rule released last June mandates how medically important antibiotics that are administered to food animals in their feed are to be used and distributed to producers. The rule, known as the Veterinary feed Directive or VFD, applies to all food-producing species (any cow, pig, chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, quail, sheep, or goat, along with lobsters, honeybees, catfish, and salmonids) that need an antimicrobial drug administered in feed – and it doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a whole herd or a single food-producing animal that’s kept as a family pet.

Under the VFD rule, veterinary approval is required before medicated feeds containing medically important antibiotics can be fed to any of the food-producing species listed above. Veterinarians need to fill out a VFD order to give this approval. That’s where our new form – and the accompanying instructions – come in. Whether you need to write a VFD order every day or once a year, our form will make your job easier.

If you’re immersed in food animal production practice, you’re probably fully aware of the intricacies of (VFDs) and can go straight to the fillable form. If you don’t write VFD orders regularly, you can turn to The 123s of VFDs to find out when one is needed and how to fill one out.

Our fillable form is consistent with the recommended common format published by the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the AVMA was involved in the FDA’s rule-making from the beginning, providing input to ensure that the FDA understood veterinarians’ needs and roles in judicious antimicrobial use. Our volunteer leaders and staff provided the FDA with comments and suggestions that helped to improve the VFD process. Our collaboration helped ensure that the VFD rule is practical and in the best interests of animal health, public health and the veterinary profession.

The AVMA’s role in the rule-making process was shaped by the Steering Committee for FDA Policy on Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobials, comprised of AVMA members.

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