Gary Huddleston, manager of feed manufacturing, safety and environmental affairs for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), gave a regulatory update presentation at USPOULTRY’S Feed Mill Management Seminar, held recently in Nashville, Tennessee.
Huddleston focused much of his presentation on the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and its goals, documents that are available for members of the feed industry, the VFD process, issues, future challenges, and a timeline for implementation.
President Bill Clinton signed the Animal Drug Availability Act into law in October 1996. That law created a new category of animal drugs, called VFD drugs, that can be used for animals with a veterinarian’s order. The VFD requires more documentation than non-VFD drugs, with the goal of promoting the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals.
This strategy will bring the use of these drugs under veterinary supervision so that they are used only when necessary for assuring animal health. The VFD final rule, released in 2015, outlines the process for authorizing use of VFD drugs (animal drugs intended for use in or on animal feed that require the supervision of a licensed veterinarian) and provides veterinarians in all states with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes.
The VFD final rule continues to require veterinarians to issue all VFDs within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) and specifies the key elements that define a VCPR.