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Big changes for medicated feed

The Food and Drug Administration’s new rules on the use of medications in feed mean big changes ahead for livestock producers. A workshop to explain the new rules and how producers will need to comply was Sept. 16 at Iowa State University. Livestock producers, veterinarians and feed industry representatives attended. The workshop was sponsored by ISU and the Farm Foundation.

You’ll need a prescription or veterinary feed directive from a licensed veterinarian to give animals medicines through feed. The federal government has placed medications into categories based on their importance to human medicine. The only antibiotics considered not important are Bacitracin, Meccadox, Tiamulin (Denegard), Narasin and Bambermycin. Examples of drugs considered critically or highly important to humans include Excede, Draxxin, Lincomycin, penicillin and the tetracyclines.

Companies producing feed medications will no longer sell those medications that are labeled only for growth promotion. All medically important antibiotics that are fed through the feed for growth promotion will go away. For antibiotics used for prevention, control or treatment of disease that are in the category of being important for human medicine, a veterinary prescription or veterinary feed directive (prescription for a feed antibiotic) will be required.

The changes regarding products labeled for feed efficiency and growth promotion are in effect now. Over upcoming months, drug companies will be working toward removing the products with growth promotion labels. Companies have until December 2016 to complete this task.

Changes regarding the need for prescriptions or veterinary feed directives will go into place on Jan. 1, 2017. All producers will need veterinary oversight to medicate their pigs with antibiotics categorized as important to human medicine.

Directives and prescriptions can only be obtained through licensed veterinarians. To write your prescription or feed directive, the veterinarian will need to establish a client relationship.

Vet-client relationship

This relationship includes three parts. First, the veterinarian will assume responsibility for the clinical judgements about your herd’s health. Second, he or she will establish sufficient knowledge of your herd by virtue of examination or visits to the facility. Third, the vet will provide any necessary follow-up evaluation or care of your pigs. Some states include other criteria as well. Check with your veterinarian to find out about your specific state.

Veterinarians can only provide a prescription or feed directive if they feel comfortable they have established a relationship with you.

The best thing a producer can do to prepare for these changes is to establish a business relationship with a licensed veterinarian. Call a veterinarian and have them visit you and see your herd. Help them understand your flow of pigs and any reoccurring disease issues you face. Start working with a veterinarian long before Jan. 1, 2017. When you have sick pigs and need prescriptions or feed directives, you will need the veterinarian/client/producer relationship to obtain them. If you have a relationship with a veterinarian already in place, you will get your prescriptions and feed directives faster. Faster medical intervention is always in the best interest of the pig.

Source: Iowa State University

This article published in the October, 2015 edition of WALLACES FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2015.

Animal Nutrition

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