Veterinary Feed Directive Informational Meetings

The Montana State University Extension Beef Cattle Program is holding Veterinary Feed Directive educational meetings throughout the state this summer. These courses are free to the public and will be a great way to learn more about the VFD. For more information about the courses please contact Megan Van Emon, Extension Beef Specialist at 406.874.8286 or

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Elanco Announces Comprehensive Antibiotic Stewardship Plan, Significant Research Effort

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceThe use of antibiotics in raising livestock has been a concerned raised by many consumers in recent months as a result of rising occurrence of antibiotic resistance bacteria. Many companies, food processors and retailers have made announcements in recent months regarding changes to their practices in an effort to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock. Most of these announcements pertain to the use of antibiotics that are medically important for human use.

As we have discussed in earlier podcasts with Dr. Bruce Hoffman of Elanco, changes are coming to the way livestock producers are allowed to use feed-grade antibiotics and changes in FDA guidelines will end the use of antibiotics for growth-promotion. This will be a topic in our Cattle Health Committee meeting on Thursday during our MidYear meeting. Listen to our previous podcast for more information.

Montana Stockgrowers has been working with Elanco Animal Health to share information for veterinarians and cattle ranchers in preparation for these changes in antibiotic use. Today, Elanco announced initiatives to further curb the use of antibiotics that are medically important for human use, and to identify alternative products to treat illnesses in livestock. Below is a press release with more information.

To learn more about Elanco and their programs to address concerns of growing global food demand, visit

Elanco President Jeff Simmons participates in White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship; outlines company’s aggressive eight-step plan to help safeguard animal and human health and deliver 10 new alternatives to the most challenging diseases

Jeff Simmons Elanco Animal HealthGREENFIELD, Ind., June 2, 2015 – Today, Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), will participate in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship where Elanco President Jeff Simmons will participate in a panel discussion. Concurrently, Simmons is unveiling the company’s multi-faceted approach to combat the growing concern about antibiotic resistance.  A summary of Simmons’ remarks follows:

In the next few decades, demand for animal protein will climb 60 percent(1) as population increases and the global middle class expands by three billion people(2). These numbers are important, because we’re already overusing the Earth’s resources, consuming about 1.5 times the natural resources we should use in a year(3). Delivering safe, sufficient, affordable protein to feed the growing population has never been at greater risk.

The welfare of animals we rely upon to provide protein is also at risk. Today, we have emerging diseases on every continent, including the extreme of avian influenza right here in the United States. Beyond that – nearly 3 in 4 cattle experience symptoms of respiratory disease(4) at some point in their life and 1 in 6 dairy cattle experience mastitis(5) in their productive life. It is our industry’s responsibility to keep animals healthy and treat the ones that get sick while safeguarding antibiotics for future generations through responsible use. Ultimately, this is about One Health – not just animal health, but this work creates healthy food, ensures the health of people and protects the planet.

Elanco has committed to an eight-step antibiotic stewardship plan that ensures the responsible use of antibiotics, reduces shared-class antibiotic use and replaces antibiotics with alternatives.

Elanco’s Eight-Step Antibiotic Stewardship Plan

  1. Act with responsibility globally – not just according to U.S. regulation – by working with food producers and retailers to provide training and encourage policies that reduce shared-class antibiotic use and increase veterinarian oversight.
  2. Cease marketing of growth promotion uses for shared-class antibiotics and complete full regulatory change to end growth promotion use of shared-class antibiotics globally by the end of 2016.
  3. Help customers eliminate continuous use of shared-class antibiotics for therapy purposes by providing an alternative.
  4. Eliminate over-the-counter sales of shared-class antibiotics globally – including injectable products – where veterinarian oversight exists.
  5. Eliminate concurrent use of shared-class antibiotics to treat the same disease.
  6. Support veterinary oversight and responsible use, including helping build infrastructure globally.
  7. Develop new animal-only antibiotics. No animal should ever be treated with a shared-class antibiotic if an animal-only option exists. Animal-only antibiotics optimize animal welfare without compromising human use antibiotics.
  8. Create alternatives. Elanco commits to invest two-thirds of our food animal research budget to quickly evaluate 25 candidates and deliver 10 viable non-antibiotic development projects that address diseases where there are few, or no, alternatives to shared-class antibiotics. (Respiratory disease and enteric disease in cattle, swine and poultry and mastitis in cattle.)

In one year, Elanco will host an animal health accountability summit to provide a progress report on our effort to deliver non-antibiotic alternatives. Along the way, we will collaborate with customers, academics and appropriate regulatory authorities, which will include establishing an expert advisory panel. Finally, Elanco will collaborate with our industry association and other technology companies to advance this effort as quickly as possible.

It is important that we don’t enact regulations or policies that move faster than available science, which could jeopardize animal health as well as food safety and food security. Setting timelines without solutions could be dangerous, compromising animal welfare. Policies that require complete elimination of all antibiotics in animal production aren’t right for the animal and they aren’t right for the consumer either. We must take a pragmatic approach that doesn’t put animals at risk.

This is a challenging endeavor not without risk, but with intentional focus, dedicated investment and collaboration from an event like today, we believe we can make a difference, shaping a positive future with better health outcomes for people and animals.


1 Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). “World Livestock 2011: Livestock in Food Security.” Rome, 2011

2 Kharas, Homi. “The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries.” Global Development Outlook. OECD Development Center. Working Paper No. 285. January 2010

3 World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Living Planet Report 2012: Biodiversity, biocapacity and better choices.”

4 Wittum, T. E.,  N. E. Woolen,  L. J. Perino, and E. T. Littledike 1996. “Relationships among treatment for respiratory tract disease, pulmonary lesions evident at slaughter and rate of weight gain in feedlot cattle.” J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 209:814–818.8756886

5 Ruegg, Pamela L.” New Perspectives in Udder Health Management.” Vet Clin Food Anim 28 (2012) 149–163

Veterinary Feed Directives and Natural Resources Legislation| Podcast

Antibiotics Use Livestock ResistanceOne of the bigger topics last week’s Montana Nutrition Conference was a discussion with Dr. Bruce Hoffman of Elanco Animal Health and Dr. Marty Zaluski, Montana State Veterinarian. These two had a great question and answer session regarding changes with Veterinary Feed Directives and our ability to continue using feed grade antibiotics in the livestock industry.

Montana Stockgrowers has been working with Dr. Hoffman and we’ll be providing you plenty of information about these changes and the relationships ranchers will need to build between their veterinarians and feed dealers with the implementation of these new regulations.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Hoffman for a lengthy discussion regarding these VFDs. He explained the changes in requirements in more detail and what we need to know before the new rules are in place by the end of 2016. Key points in the changes coming with Veterinary Feed Directives include the importance of involving veterinarians and nutritionists in our management decisions, abiding by label uses for antibiotics, and ensuring customers that we’re being good stewards of our resources in these conversations about antibiotics use in livestock.

On today’s podcast we’ll have a portion of that conversation, as well as some information about what Elanco is doing to bring greater awareness to the importance of protein in providing healthy food for the hungry amongst a rapidly growing global population through their Feed The Nine Campaign. Follow #FeedThe9 on Twitter or go to for more information.

But first, Ryan Goodman will catch up with MSGA Director of Natural Resources, Jay Bodner, for a quick review of a few bills during the Montana Legislative Session that affect wildlife management and landowner property rights here in Montana.

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An Overview of the FDA Final Guidance 213 and Proposed Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)

National Cattlemens Beef USA logoBy Dr. Kathy Simmons, DVM, NCBA Chief Veterinarian

On Dec. 12, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published their final Guidance #213 and a proposal for revisions to the current Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). These revisions proposed for the VFD are in response to complaints from stakeholders that the current VFD process can be burdensome. This current guidance is part of FDA’s larger strategy for judicious use of the antibiotics that are most important for use in human medicine and are currently used in feed and water for food-producing animals. Guidance #213 is directed toward the use of these products in feed and water and pertains to the medically important antibiotic classes listed in Appendix A of Guidance 152. The specific drugs or product applications affected by Guidance #213 can be found in a list on the FDA website here.

Guidance #213 does not pertain to the ionophores, such as monensin, unless used in a combination product with a medically important antibiotic.

Guidance #213 is a follow up to final Guidance #209, which states that the antibiotics important to human health should only be used in animal agriculture in ways that are necessary to maintain animal health and with veterinary oversight. Guidance #213 establishes the roadmap for the animal drug manufacturers to phase out the growth promotion use of these products in feed and water over the next three years and revise product labels as needed for use indications of control, prevention and therapy. All medically important antibiotics used in feed and water will require a veterinary prescription or a VFD in order to obtain these products for control, prevention and treatment use.

What is the objective of this FDA guidance? Doubtless, most everyone is aware of the global concern for increasing antibiotic resistance and the problems that antibiotic resistance creates for effectively treating infections in humans and animals. FDA has responsibly chosen to address the concern of antibiotic resistance and its threat to public health. FDA guidance seeks to eliminate the subtherapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in feed and water for growth promotion. The cattle industry, through the Beef Quality Assurance program, also supports this stance by stating in the Judicious Antibiotic Use Guidelines that, “Subtherapeutic Antibiotic Use is Discouraged: Antibiotic use should be limited to prevent or control disease and should not be used if the principle intent is to improve performance.”

So, what does this guidance really mean for cattlemen and women? The loss of the medically important antibiotics for growth promotion has only a minimal impact as there are really very few of these products used for growth promotion in the cattle industry. Our current use of antibiotics in feed is primarily for the prevention and control of conditions/diseases such as liver abscesses, coccidiosis and anaplasmosis. The use of these products will still be available in feed and water for control, treatment and prevention through the oversight of the veterinarian by Rx or VFD. It is extremely important to cattlemen and women to have an efficient and dtreamlined VFD process in order to facilitate the timely and uninterrupted access to these