Are you ready for the new VFD rules?
The Final Countdown to Antibiotic Changes. Producers Urged to Take Action Now.
Call it a New Year’s resolution or simply starting your 2016 to-do list early, but animal health experts are urging producers to ensure that they’re ready before the Food and Drug Administration’s new antibiotic regulations take effect in January 2017.
“If they haven’t already done so, producers should sit down with their veterinarians and determine what they need to do to comply with the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) and prescription requirement for water-based medications,” said Jennifer Koeman, DVM, Pork Checkoff’s director of producer and public health.
Recordkeeping of on-farm antibiotic use will be pivotal in the success of the new regulations, Koeman said.
“It’s a critical step, but one most producers should be familiar with thanks to their certification in the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus program, she said. “However, requirements, such as keeping original copies of VFDs for two years will be adjustments.”
Remember “USCARE” this Year
While you probably don’t need another acronym in your life, the Pork Checkoff offers USCARE as a way to remember the six key steps producers need to complete in 2016 to ensure successful compliance with the new regulations.
“These steps are designed to help producers prepare for the upcoming changes,” Koeman said. “It’s an easy way for producers to ensure that they’ve done due diligence to be ready to go by 2017.”
Leading and Collaborating on Antibiotic Use
Whether it’s cooperating with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, state pork associations, government agencies and other agricultural organizations, the Pork Checkoff continues to work on this critical issue on behalf of producers.
“Collaboration is key to what we do across our industry,” said John Johnson, National Pork Board chief operating officer. “We share information about the safeguards in place for antibiotic use in pork production, showing our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. And we are focused on pork safety, quality and nutrition, which are all important to producers, retailers and consumers.”
Collaboration also is key as the industry prepares to successfully navigate the upcoming changes.
“It’s best to start the year by simply talking to your farm employees and veterinarian about what lies ahead,” Koeman said. “It might just reveal some hidden opportunities for even greater success.”
To find out more about this story and more on the new VFD rules taking effect, visit www.pork.org.