- What is a VFD?
A VFD is a written (nonverbal) statement issued by a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian’s professional practice that authorizes the use of a VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on an animal feed. This written statement authorizes the client (the owner of the animal or animals or other caretaker) to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat client’s animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved, conditionally approved, or indexed by the FDA. A VFD is also referred to as a VFD order.
The use of antibiotics in food animals is heavily scrutinized, in part, because of the concern that such usage may facilitate development of antimicrobial resistance to drugs that are important for treating human disease. In response to such concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented new guidelines related to the use and availability of antibiotics administered in or on animal feed. The new guidance is currently being implemented, and as of January 2017, all antibiotics, listed as medically important by the FDA, will require a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). A VFD is like a prescription written by a veterinarian for antibiotics administered in or on animal feed.