New medicated feed rule for livestock producers takes effect Jan. 1

Producers will be permitted to administer certain medications in feed only under a vet’s supervision

FRANKFORT, Ky. — State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout reminds Kentucky livestock producers that, beginning Jan. 1, certain medications in animal feed may be administered only under the supervision of a veterinarian.

“The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has issued a new rule to address the problem of antibiotic resistance,” Dr. Stout said. “FDA’s stated purpose is to phase out the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for food production purposes. The Office of the State Veterinarian will do whatever we can to help producers comply with the new rule.”

As of Jan. 1, producers must have a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) from a licensed veterinarian in order to feed medically important antimicrobial drugs – those that also are used in human medicine. Feed containing medically important antimicrobials may be used only for the animals and up to the expiration date specified in the VFD, and only for the purposes of treatment, control, and prevention of disease. Use of medically important antimicrobials for weight gain and feed efficiency is prohibited under the new rule.

The veterinarian of record must have a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship with the producer in order to write a VFD for that producer’s animals. The producer’s feed distributor must have a copy of the VFD before providing the VFD feed to the producer.

For more information about the new rule, go to the FDA website, fda.gov. To contact the Office of the State Veterinarian, call (502) 573-0282, option 3.

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