FDA clarifies approved free-choice feeding options for anaplasmosis control in cattle

Agency issues question-and-answer document to assist with appropriate selection and use of approved VFD free-choice products.

In January 2017, the Food & Drug Administration and animal drug manufacturers completed the voluntary transition of antimicrobial drugs of medical importance used in animal feed to veterinary feed directive (VFD) marketing status under "Guidance for Industry (GFI) #213."

Since that time, FDA said it has received questions from stakeholders relating to certain uses of free-choice medicated feeds (products that contain one or more animal drugs and are placed in feeding or grazing areas for animals to freely consume) for the control of an active infection of anaplasmosis in cattle. Some of the questions involved uses of such feeds that are not in compliance with currently approved use conditions, FDA said.

The agency said it acknowledges that anaplasmosis is an important animal health concern for the cattle industry and that practical control measures are needed, particularly during the time of year when insects associated with spreading the disease are most active. While FDA said it understands that free-choice medicated feeds can be an important tool for controlling this disease, the agency needs to ensure that the feeds are used in compliance with the approved conditions of use.

FDA is reminding veterinarians, animal producers and feed manufacturers that, when medicating animals through free-choice mineral supplements, the only legal options are approved free-choice medicated feed formulations. While the agency continues to consider ways to address these concerns, it is providing the document "Question & Answers: FDA Approved Free-Choice Feeding Options for Anaplasmosis Control in Cattle" to clarify the issues and assist with the appropriate selection and use of approved VFD free-choice medicated feed products for the control of active infection of anaplasmosis in cattle.

FDA said it any use of free-choice medicated feeds for controlling anaplasmosis in cattle should be limited to situations when active anaplasmosis is a significant concern, when such use is consistent with the approved dose and when these feeds are used under veterinarian oversight.

Questions not addressed in the question-and-answer document may be directed to [email protected].

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.