Youth Livestock Projects & the VFD Regulation

Effective January 1, 2017, all livestock producers that use antibiotic medicated feeds to prevent, treat or control animal health issues will be required to get a written order or Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) from a Veterinarian to purchase and feed these feeds.  The regulation will only affect antibiotics administered in feed or water for livestock.

Antibiotics are important to both human medicine and animal health, to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in both areas; producer must follow the FDA Approved Labels.  These labels determine what animal health issues can be treated with that specific antibiotic, dosage and proper administration.

The first step youth producers should take is to develop a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship by visiting with their veterinarian.  Within this discussion, producers need to review their herd/flock health plan and evaluate vaccinations and treatment plans for the animals they care for.  If you determine that medicated feeds should be used, plan on how to acquire a VFD Order from the veterinarian. 

Copies of the VFD must go to you and your feed supplier/dealer before you can purchase or feed these feeds.  Youth Livestock Participants may visit with their feed supplier/dealer to plan a nutrition/feed program prior to getting their project animals to discuss if medicated feeds should be used and if a VFD is required.

For more information visit the Nebraska BQA VFD Webpage at: http://bqa.unl.edu/veterinary-feed-directive   Or Contact Rob Eirich, Extension Educator/Director of Beef Quality Assurance via email at: reirich2@unl.edu