Those in the swine business discovered in the last year that the VFD process is more than just having a veterinarian’s signature on a piece of paper. Because there is no allowance for using feed-grade medications in an off-label manner, veterinarians completing the VFDs have had to pay extreme attention to every detail on the label, including the dose, duration of feeding, reasons (disease treatment versus control) for feeding and the diseases the medication could be used for.
While considered an encumbrance by many, the VFD-created producer and DVM conversations are a positive by-product of these new regulations.
Source: National Hog Farmer, November 22, 2017.
These new rules can do one very valuable thing: giving livestock producers an opportunity to interact with the one local professional who can best guide them through health-related decisions about their animals — their veterinarian. Since the new VFD’s implementation, many of these interactions have resulted in more effective and efficient use of these tools and consideration of disease prevention methods that preclude the need for antibiotics.