Take survey to tell how VFD rules impacted your herd

Nationwide survey will gauge how herd health management has changed.

Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with other land-grant universities, is conducting a nationwide survey of food-animal producers to find out how the Veterinary Feed Directive has impacted their livestock operations. The VFD rules have been in effect for just over a year.

Managing the health of a herd is a primary responsibility of all farmers. The VFD that went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, may have impacted how herd health is managed. The rules limited the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention, control or treatment, and only when a veterinarian writes a VFD for their use.

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association would like to learn how those rules have affected management, as well as the health of the animals, by having producers take this survey. All responses are confidential and participation is voluntary.

The survey will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Thoughtful answers, with examples, will provide good information that can be used by land-grant Extension professionals to design educational programs to help food-animal producers.

FDA implemented the VFD policy changes with the goals of:

 promoting the judicious use of antibiotics

 protecting public health

 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.

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 and by region of the country, and will be shared with Extension professionals in your state.

Source: Dairy Calf and Heifer Association

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