Home 5 Ag Stories Are you Prepared for the Veterinary Feed Directive?

Are you Prepared for the Veterinary Feed Directive?

by Ken Root

Dr. Kathy Simmons, Chief Veterinarian for NCBA

Do your cows have a relationship with a veterinarian? If not, you will need to establish one before the first of January.

At that time, the long awaited. Veterinary Feed Directive goes into place and times will change.

No longer an independent rancher who administers antibiotics at will. No longer feed suppliers who mix their products without a paper trail.

A talk with the Chief Veterinarian for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association who has 27 years of private practice experience under her belt, along with 11 years managing her family’s cow-calf operation and one year spent on Capitol Hill in policy work.

Dr. Kathy Simmons, now serves as Chief Veterinarian for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). She spoke recently with Farm Director Ron Hays about some basic preparations producers need to check off their to-do lists for the upcoming Veterinarian Feed Directive (VFD) which officially goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Dr. Simmons explains that essentially, it will mean using what most producers already have in place.

“Basically it says you have a veterinarian who has an understanding of your animals, who works with your animals, who is responsible for their care and oversight under veterinarian medical terms,” Simmons said, “and keeps records on these animals and also is willing to do follow up and repeat visits.”

She clarified that once the VFD rule is implemented at the start of 2017, antibiotics used in feed will require a VFD specific order, made by a veterinarian to a feed supplier and drugs used in water will require a vet’s prescription. Dr. Simmons says to ensure the process of obtaining these drugs remains efficient and unobstructed, you will need to have an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship which she encourages everybody to begin doing before the new year.

“Everybody needs to make sure they have a relationship with a licensed veterinarian where their animals are being housed or reside,” Simmons said. “What we call a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), that’s been defined on the federal level and FDA has decided they will accept many of the state’s Practice Acts definitions for VCPR.”