Tell Us About the Impact of VFD Rules on Your Herd
By Larry Howard, Nebraska Extension Educator and Phil Durst, Michigan State University Extension Educator
Managing the health of your herd is a primary responsibility of all farmers. The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules that went into effect January 1, 2017 may have impacted how you manage herd health. The rules limited the use of medically important antibiotics to disease prevention, control or treatment, and only when a veterinarian writes a VFD for their use.
We would like to learn how those rules have affected your management as well as the health of your animals. Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with Land-Grant Universities nationwide, including Nebraska Extension, is conducting a survey of farmers who raise and manage dairy or beef cattle, pigs, sheep or goats. We want to learn about changes that have occurred, in response to the VFD, in terms of your use of antibiotics, health of your herd, and, in your relationship with your veterinarian.
The survey is open from now until April. All responses are confidential and your participation is voluntary. Click to take the survey: VFD Survey (https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eY83E3DiinngljD&Q_JFE=0)
We anticipate that it will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Your thoughtful answers, with examples, will provide good information used by Land-Grant Extension professionals to design educational programs that help food-animal producers.
This survey is only for farmers over the age of 18 who raise food-animals impacted by the VFD rules. Farmers in every state are invited to respond to the survey. The findings will be analyzed by specie type (that is, for beef producers, swine producers, etc.), and by region of the country, and will be shared with Extension professionals in those cooperating states.
FDA implemented the VFD policy changes with the goals of: 1) promoting the judicious use of antibiotics, 2) protecting public health and 3) helping to limit the development of antimicrobial resistance. This policy change was in response to widespread concerns about the rate of development of resistance to common antimicrobials by disease pathogens for both humans and food animals.
Key questions to be answered are what the impacts of those changes have been on health management of herds and herd performance. The responses of food animal producers will help to answer those key questions. All responses are confidential.