Did the changes to veterinary feed directive regulations affect your farm?
Land grant universities are looking to gain information on the impacts of VFD regulation through an electronic survey.
March 22, 2018 - Author: Elizabeth Ferry, Elizabeth Ferry, Dave Thompson, Phil Durst , Michigan State University Extension
Starting January 1st, 2017 the distribution of antibiotics in animal agriculture went through a major overhaul. These changes affected livestock farmers of all sizes and farms needed to incorporate changes to help them adapt to the new rules and regulations. Focusing on the one-health concept of combating antibiotic resistance, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put into effect regulations that helped promote the judicious use of humanly medically important antibiotics. These changes include eliminating the growth promotion use of human medically important antibiotics and expanding the list of feed-grade antibiotics classified as Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs. Historically, a majority of feed-grade antibiotics used in or on animal feeds have been available to producers over-the-counter, without approval from a veterinarian, now the FDA has moved all human medically important feed-grade antibiotics to the VFD drug process. This in turn has limited the types and times antibiotics can be fed in the feed to animals, along with requiring approval from the farm’s veterinarian, which is a major change for some livestock farms.
Understanding how these changes have affected livestock production is a goal of Michigan State University Extension and other land grand universities in the United States. These universities have developed an electronic survey that poses questions regarding the financial and management impacts of VFD regulations. Questions regarding herd and flock health, changes to production practices, health/veterinary costs, total antibiotic use on the farm and the need for further education or programming on any topic regarding the VFD regulation are included in the survey.
Farmers, of any size, that raise food production animals are being asked to respond to this nationwide survey regarding the implementation of VFD regulation. This online survey is completely anonymous and can be accessed through the following link: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eY83E3DiinngljD.
Producers can also respond to the online survey using the QR code, which they can scan with a QR Code reader application on their phone, that takes them directly to the electronic survey.
If farmers do not wish to communicate electronically they can receive a paper survey by contacting MSU Extension educator Beth Ferry by phone at 269-876-2745, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 1737 Hillandale Road Benton Harbor, MI 49022. The information compiled from the survey responses will help us better understand the effect of VFD regulations for livestock producers and assist with targeting educational and programing needs of farmers.