FDA issues letter on veterinary feed directive guidelines

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has sent letters to remind retail establishments of the upcoming change in medically important feed and water for food animals. The marketing status of those products will change from over-the-counter to prescription or veterinary feed directive at the end of the year.

The veterinary feed directive came about in the 1990’s to provide more veterinarian oversight of therapeutic, antimicrobial animal drug use, and provide a practical alternative to prescription drugs in feed. The process was revised in 2013 in response to concerns over the use of antibiotics in animal food.

Drug sponsors have committed to the changes and the FDA expects all companies to complete the necessary label changes to their affected products by January 1st 2017. Once complete, it will be illegal for livestock producers to use antibiotics important to human health for animal production purposes without veterinary oversight. The rule also provides veterinarians with guidelines for authorizing and distributing medical animal feeds for special animal health purposes.

Earlier this month, Brownfield reported the FDA clarified its rule saying producers who mix their feed on farms, feeding only animals they own, will not be required to register with the FDA as a distributor. But producers with contract growers who send feed to other farms, even for animals they own, must register as a distributor with the FDA.

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