The FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule, which governs the use of antibiotics used in livestock feed, will place new responsibilities on veterinarians, producers and distributors such as feed mills. Last week, the FDA published draft “Guidance for Industry 120: Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation Questions and Answers.” The document outlines requirements under the new VFD rule released on June 3, offers recommendations and answers questions regarding the responsibilities the parties involved in prescribing, producing and feeding VFD feeds.

Under the new rule, a client recipient of an animal feed containing a VFD drug or a combination VFD drug must:

  • Only feed animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or a combination VFD drug to animals based on a VFD issued by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Feed a VFD feed or combination VFD feed to animals by no later than the expiration date on the VFD.
  • Provide a copy of the VFD order to the distributor if the issuing veterinarian sends the distributor’s copy of the VFD through you, the client.
  • Maintain a copy of the VFD order for a minimum of two years.
  • Provide VFD orders for inspection and copying by FDA upon request.

Under the FDA rule, veterinarians must issue VFDs within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR). Specific requirements of the VCPR, such as the client agreeing to follow the instructions of the veterinarian, are contained within individual states’ VCPR rules. In states without VCPR requirements that meet federal standards, producers and veterinarians need to work within VCPR requirements as defined in FDA’s regulations.

The FDA document also points out that if a producer has a VFD order that will expire before the covered VFD feed is used up, the client should contact his or her veterinarian to request a new VFD order. A VFD feed or combination VFD feed must not be fed to animals after the expiration date on the VFD.

For more information, read “The veterinarian’s role in VFD compliance.”

View the draft Guidance 120 document on the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine website