Feed Directive Will Require Stronger Relationship Between Producers and VetsMon, 16 Mar 2015 15:17:51 CDT
The livestock industry, pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. government have reached an agreement about the future use of antibiotics, so cattlemen will need to get prepared for changes. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons said in less than two years, producers will notice big changes with how they can access some products that they once picked up at their local feed store. Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Simmons about these changes. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is implementing a voluntary plan for the livestock industry to phase out the use of certain antibiotics. This includes antibiotics added to animal feed or drinking water. FDA issued the voluntary guidance documents 209 and 213. Simmons said these directives aim to make medically important antibiotics unavailable to producers for growth promotion uses or what they feel are unnecessary use. She said these products will still be available for treatment, control and prevention uses to maintain animal health under the oversight of a veterinarian.
Part of the agreement is that pharmaceutical and feed companies will be required to change the labeling on these products to get rid of growth promotion. Simmons said these label changes will make this a legal and binding use of these antibiotics. She said all of the companies have agreed to change their labels. After the implementation date, which is December 12, 2016, these products will only be available under veterinary oversight. For feed this becomes a veterinary feed directive.
"It will mean a change for the producers and a change for veterinarians in how these drugs are accessed," Simmons said.
The average cattle producer will need to work more closely with their veterinarian in using any of these products. Simmons said cattle producers will now need a veterinary client - patient relationship to get these medications. Products like a medicated mineral mix, will only be available through a veterinarian.
"Now you are going to need to have one of these veterinary feed directives," Simmons said. "It will be written for a group of cattle, a specific location, for a time period. Accessibility will be there, there will just need to be more planning to get that."
Overall, Simmons said this involves more judicious use of medications with veterinary oversight. While this is a voluntary program, once the labels are changed it's a mandated use by producers.
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