Veterinarians, meat and feed industry representatives, and regulators discussed in June pending changes in how some antimicrobials will be distributed in agriculture.
The AVMA hosted June 9-10 a summit on veterinary feed directives, attended by representatives from dozens of agriculture organizations. The attendees discussed the expected changes in federal requirements for issuing such directives and distributing drugs, and they participated in exercises meant to simulate the process of issuing and using the drugs.
In April 2013, the Food and Drug Administration published draft regulations in a process intended to improve the efficiency of issuing VFDs while maintaining veterinarian oversight of affected drugs. FDA officials expect more drugs will require such directives as the FDA pushes pharmaceutical companies to, by the end of 2016, eliminate over-the-counter access to antimicrobials deemed to be important for human medicine.
Attendees discussed topics including veterinarian oversight, order expiration dates, the numbers of orders needed for groups or herds, fraud prevention, order transmission methods, information needed by the FDA, and the use of VFDs for small groups of animals such as show pigs.
Dr. Kathy Simmons, chief veterinarian for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, attended the meeting and said in a message afterward that the summit provided an excellent forum for stakeholders to exchange ideas, identify problems, and improve understanding of the VFD process.
“As a producer-directed association, NCBA seeks to increase opportunities for education for both cattle industry stakeholders and bovine veterinarians regarding the VFD process with the ultimate goal of ensuring the most efficient access to the medications necessary to maintain cattle health and well-being,” she said.