New Rule Ahead for Farm Animal Antibiotics
A new rule concerning the use of antibiotics on farm animals is nearly finalized. The rule will require producers and distributors of antibiotic products to work more closely with veterinarians to determine whether antibiotics are truly the "best treatment option" for the animal(s) in question. In particular, the rule will require authorization from a veterinarian in order to use antibiotic products—a Veterinary Feed Directive ("VFD") in the case of feed-based products, and a prescription in the case of water-soluble products. Use of these products solely for growth promotion purposes will no longer be allowed.The rule is expected to take effect in late 2016 and have a significant impact on the livestock industry. Over 97% of the medically important antibiotics for animals are currently sold over-the-counter, and the vast majority of these are feed based or water soluble.