Livestock farmers need to circle June 11, 2023, on their calendar. What is the significance of that Sunday?
On June 11, 2023, medically important antibiotics will only be available with a prescription from a veterinarian. Medically important antibiotics are drugs used by both humans and animals. Farm supply store staples, including LA-200 and LA-300, Penicillin, tetracycline, ToDay and ToMORROW intramammary tubes, Tylan, Terramycin Scour Tablets, and others will no longer be available over-the-counter after June 11.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and staph. However, they are increasingly ineffective as bacteria develop resistance, evolving and changing over time. The more we use antibiotics, the faster they develop resistance to our arsenal of antibiotics. Antibiotic use in the livestock industry has increased growth rates, feed efficiency and prevented as well as controlled disease. However, it is a contributing factor in widespread antibiotic resistance, one of the biggest threats to human and animal health across the globe.
This latest ruling is part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 5-year plan to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. In 2017, the FDA placed the use of medically important antibiotics in feed and those in water-soluble form under veterinarian supervision through the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). The most current regulations restrict antibiotic use to cases deemed medically necessary for the treatment, control, and prevention of specific diseases as per a licensed veterinarian’s recommendation.
Preparing for June 11, livestock farmers must establish or confirm a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR). A VCPR is composed of three parts, 1. the veterinarian has assumed responsibility for making clinical judgments on your farm, 2. the veterinarian has examined your animals within the last 12 months or made a visit to the premises, 3. The veterinarian is available for emergency follow-up evaluation in the event of an adverse reaction to the medication or failure of the treatment regimen.
Do not wait until you have a sick animal to call your veterinarian or confirm your VCPR. And do not rush out to purchase over-the-counter antibiotics in preparation for June 11. A good working relationship with your veterinarian will go a lot further than an out-of-date bottle of LA-200.
Contact the UT/TSU Extension Office for a list of drugs that will not be available without a prescription after June 11, 2023. Vaccines, de-wormers, oral and injectable supplements, probiotics, topical treatments, coccidiostats, and other livestock treatments do not fall under the new regulations, but call your veterinarian to discuss your herd health protocols, vaccination regimen and to set up your VCPR today.