Veterinarians told to maintain high ground

New rules on certain antibiotics may require veterinarians to become regulators, of sorts.

New rules surrounding the use of certain antibiotics on the farm go into effect at the end of 2016 and will require greater involvement on the part of veterinarians. The rules may also, in some instances, put veterinarians in the position of having to be regulators, said Dr. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV).

At a session held in conjunction with AASV’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La., Burkgren told veterinarians in attendance that it will be critical for them to remain professional in everything they do. “Don’t let producers try to convince you to do something that isn’t allowed” under the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules, he said, noting that such things could include blindly writing a script and prescribing a drug for extra-label use.

Other than a requirement for more documentation, the basics of being a veterinarian do not change with the VFD rules, Burkgren said. He described the “veterinary oversight” required under the new rules as seeing the pigs, being in the building or to the farm and knowing the producer.

Veterinarians should never just be VFD writing machines, Burkgren said, reminding them of the oath they took to always protect animal health first. That’s a promise that should never be taken lightly, he said.
For more information on the VFD rules, visit  http://feedstuffs.com/vfd.aspx
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