NDSU Extension - Burke County


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Veterinary Feed Directive

Veterinary Feed Directive

County Agent News
Dan Folske
January 30, 2017 

Veterinary Feed DirectiveAnimals

            The Veterinary Feed Directive is a new rule for the use of medication in animal feeds. The intent of the FDA rule is to slow or prevent antimicrobial resistance. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to the development of bacteria which are now resistant to many commonly used drugs.

            What does it mean to you? Many common medicated feeds will now require a Veterinary Feed Directive or VFD.

Producers need written authorization from a licensed veterinarian

Use of VFD drugs now falls under the supervision of licensed veterinarians. Producers must receive signed and written (not verbal) authorization from a licensed veterinarian to purchase and utilize VFD antimicrobials on and in feed. This authorization is referred to as a VFD Order.


An established Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) is required

To write the VFD order, the licensed veterinarian must have an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) with the producer. Based on the Texas Veterinary Licensing Act, a valid VCPR is present if:


    The veterinarian assumes responsibility for medical judgments regarding the health of the livestock, and the client (the owner or caretaker of the livestock), agrees to follow the veterinarian’s instructions.

    The veterinarian possesses sufficient knowledge of the livestock to initiate a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the livestock. Sufficient knowledge exists if the veterinarian has recently seen, or is personally acquainted with, the keeping and care of the livestock as a result of (a) examining the animal, or (b) making medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the livestock are kept. A veterinarian-client-patient relationship may not be established solely by telephone or electronic means.

    The veterinarian is readily available to provide follow-up medical care in the event of an adverse reaction, or failure of the regimen of therapy.


Producers, Veterinarians, and Feed Suppliers will need to keep copies of the VFD for 2 years.


Do all medicated feeds need a VFD? 

No, Additives such as lasalocid (Bovatec-cattle, Avatec-poultry), monensin (Rumensin-cattle, Coban-poultry), bacitracin, bambermycins (Flavomycin – swine, Gainpro – cattle), and amprolium are not “medically-important” and will not fall under the VFD unless they are used in combination with a VFD drug.

Amprolium is the most common medication in “Medicated Chick Starter”. 


The most common medicated feeds which are affected are those containing some form of  tetracycline and/or sulfa. Common examples of these would be Aureomycin, Aureo S, Terramycin, and Oxytetracycline.


For more information check out NDSU Extension Bulletin V1719 “Understanding the Veterinary Feed Directive” available online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/understanding-the-veterinary-feed-directive or give me a call at the NDSU Extension Service/Burke County office ph. 701-377-2927

You may also want to watch the YouTube video titled “Veterinary Feed Directive - an Overview”

Filed under: Burke news
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