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At the Cattle Industry Convention- Elanco's Kerry Keffaber Talks VFD with Ron Hays

Fri, 29 Jan 2016 06:19:57

At the Cattle Industry Convention- Elanco's Kerry Keffaber Talks VFD with Ron Hays

At the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Elanco provided information to help beef producers better understand and prepare to implement Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) new VFD rule for managing antibiotic use in livestock will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, which means now is the time for producers to update their herd-health plans. Elanco has developed informational resources about the VFD, and suggests four steps farmers and ranchers can take to meet this deadline.

“With just 11 months until the final VFD rule is in place, it’s important that every cattle operation start preparations so there are no surprises,” says Kerry Keffaber, D.V.M., advisor for scientific affairs and policy at Elanco. “Collaboration plays a critical role in implementing these updated regulations successfully. That is why working closely with your veterinarian and feed supplier is the first of four steps we recommend for good antibiotic stewardship."

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Dr. Keffaber in San Diego at the Cattle Industry Convention. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear their conversation about the industry's efforts to provide this level of accountability to the public about how agriculture is handling antimicrobials.

Producers can get a start making sure their health and feeding programs reflect the new VFD rules with four key steps:

1. Strengthen relationships with your veterinarian and feed supplier, enlisting their help as you review your operation’s current health protocols.

2. Evaluate the various rations and feeds in your operation, and identify the ones that include shared-class antibiotics affected by VFD rules.

3. Work with your veterinarian and feed supplier to update standard operating procedures (SOPs) for antibiotic use, and begin training employees on the revised SOPs.

4. Mark your calendar to review SOPs at regular intervals, perhaps annually, to ensure your health protocols remain up-to-date and effective.

“For years, farmers have been good stewards of antibiotics, following label directions to use them responsibly,” says Keffaber. “Taking time to update management practices, confirming they reflect VFD regulations, is an excellent way to ensure compliance while protecting animal health and food safety. In turn, this has the potential to encourage consumer confidence that antibiotics are being used judiciously when administered to animals.”

In June 2015, the FDA published new VFD regulations to promote judicious use of antibiotics, protect public health and help limit the development of antimicrobial resistance. The rules provide direction for antibiotics deemed “important for human medicine” and used in both animals and humans: penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, macrolides, sulfas, glycopeptides and others.

By next January, these shared-use antibiotics no longer will be used for growth promotion. And, antibiotics approved to prevent, control or treat a disease can be used only under the oversight of a veterinarian. Easy-to-understand details about VFD requirements are available by clicking here for VFD Central, an online educational resource provided by Elanco and Feedstuffs.



Ron Hays talks with Dr. Kerry Keffaber of Elanco about the Veterinary Feed Directive
right-click to download mp3


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