VFD compliance: FDA’s animal-feed director says agency’s focus is on education, not penalties, during first year
Compliance with the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule is expected to continually improve as stakeholders become more educated with the process, according to David Edwards, PhD, director of animal feeds, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA.
“I think there’s concern out there that we were going to go out with a heavy hand, and that’s not our intention at all,” he told PHT Media, publishers of Pig Health Today and Poultry Health Today.
During its first year implementing the new rules, which took effect Jan. 1, 2017, FDA’s goal is to provide a lot of education so that producers, veterinarians and feed mills are able to comply with the new regulations, Edwards continued.
There’s a general consensus among drug manufacturers, feed mills, veterinarians and producers that they want to comply with the updated rule, he added.
Edwards emphasized the important supervisory role of veterinarians, who have been trained in the responsible use of antibiotics.
The updated rules require a VFD when in-feed, medically important antibiotics are administered to food animals. It also bans the use of medically important antibiotics for performance enhancement and requires veterinarians, producers and feed mills to keep VFDs on file for 2 years.
Although the updated VFD rules are expected to reduce the amount of medically important antibiotics used in food animals, the magnitude of the change won’t be known until sometime next year when FDA reviews antibiotic-usage figures for 2017.