Will Veterinary Feed Directive make cleaner water?

Only time will tell whether there is a connection between VFD and quality drinking water.

Eric Fuchs, Blogger

January 3, 2017

1 Min Read
Will Veterinary Feed Directive make cleaner water?
Amanda Radke

With the implementation of the VFD rule, livestock producers who want to feed medicated feed or mineral will have to contact a vet and get a prescription before going to the feed store to purchase these medications. This has a lot of people concerned on how much hassle this will be to acquire these medications and the added fact that large animal vets are becoming scarce in many parts of the country. As usual, these rules will affect the small livestock operations the most.

At this time, administration of simple medications is not affected, but I would look for these to be coming in the future. The reason given for this rule is the increase in resistance to antibiotics and the creation of “superbugs” in both animals and humans. The livestock industry is a big consumer of antibiotics.

There are many opinions as to what has brought us to this situation and whether the new regulations are truly needed. One question I have tried to research the last few weeks is whether our cattle are healthier now than in the past, before we had easy access to these medications. Are the survival rates among stocker operations any higher today?

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About the Author(s)

Eric Fuchs

Blogger, Beef Producer

Eric Fuchs lives in southeast Missouri on a diversified livestock operation where he raises hair sheep and contract grazes cattle. He has been using Holistic planned grazing for over eight years and has had a grazing system on his operation for more than 20 years.

Fuchs also is employed by Missouri Rural Water Association as a source water protection technician. He travels the entire state of Missouri working with small communities, helping them protect their drinking water. In that role he has seen firsthand the problems with agriculture land use and its effects on drinking water. 

Fuchs graduated from the University of Missouri in 1994 with a degree in agronomy. He served five years in the Air Force and earned a master's degree. He has a daughter and son.

He can be reached at [email protected].

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