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Author Archive: PGT Editor

Five steps to better Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae control

For pig producers and veterinarians, the health and economic impact of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is clear. In the US, enzootic pneumonia caused by M. hyo is considered one of the “big three”...

Training staff to spot sick pigs early leads to higher performance, lower mortality

Pig health is critical for maintaining animal welfare and ensuring a steady supply of safe and affordable pork.

Build up winter housing defenses to ward off disease

Optimizing pig sheds is vital for maintaining herd health, but in the winter months, getting the environment right is especially important in warding off illness.

Boar taint vaccination: Plus points for an ‘entire’ market

For years, Britain has boasted some of the world’s highest standards of pig welfare. But as continental Europe moves to ban surgical castration, the UK’s “castration-free” status may no...

Demonstration farm helping pork industry see benefits of pig-castration alternative

A group of 250 intact male piglets arrives at the demonstration farm ready to be the face of a new type of pork production.

VFD requirements for feed mills: Not as simple as A, B, C

Part 4 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Four strategies for managing piglet diarrhea

Nutrition, commercial vaccines, good hygiene and immunity of piglets through colostral transfer are four key strategies in managing piglet neonatal and peri-weaning diarrhea.

Using diagnostics to optimize PCV2 vaccination

By Don McDermid, DVM, Swine Veterinary Services Manager, Zoetis, Kirkland, Quebec, Canada

It’s cold outside. Have you PRRS-proofed your herds?

Cold weather means closer confinement and a greater risk of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv). A leading PRRS expert recommends ways to keep this common and costly disease...

Italian meat company balances tradition, quality with need for greater sustainability

A century-old salumi maker says sustainable and welfare-friendly processes are key to keeping its traditional products relevant to today’s consumers.

Castration alternative credited with improving feed efficiency, carcass quality on Belgian farm

A pig producer in Belgium has reported that making the switch from surgical castration to boar-taint vaccination has resulted in better carcass quality, improved feed conversion and reduced...

Aureomix S finding its niche, and then some, in new VFD era

Feed medications used for many years to manage common diseases of swine now require a veterinary-client-patient relationship plus a veterinary feed directive (VFD) before they can be administered. ...

Pork producers will need more than VFD forms to pass an FDA audit

Complying with the new VFD requires pork producers to do more than establish a veterinary-client-patient relationship and retain printed or digital versions of the VFD forms for a minimum of 2 years.

VFD rule applies to water-administered antibiotics on FDA’s medically important list

The updated veterinary feed directive rule requires that a VFD be issued for all medically important antibiotics administered in feed to poultry and livestock, but it also affects medically important...

Medically Important Antimicrobials in Animal Agriculture

Slide presentation from FDA looks at guidelines for judicious use and which drugs are affected by the VFD.

FDA scientist fields lingering questions on VFD audits, compliance

The new veterinary feed directive rules have been in place since January 1, but veterinarians, feed-mill managers and producers still have questions about compliance and what to expect from FDA

Producers eye vaccines, sanitation, biosecurity following new VFD rules

Increased use of vaccines and better sanitation and biosecurity are the two most common changes livestock and poultry producers are making in response to the loss of shared use antibiotics imposed by...

FDA defers to vet’s ‘clinical judgement’ to link health problems to VFD product’s indications

FDA will defer to the expertise of veterinarians to diagnose health conditions requiring veterinary feed directive (VFD) medications, but the agency still expects usage to comply with the product...

Writing a VFD? VCPR definition requires vets to have ‘sufficient knowledge’ of herd

Swine veterinarians issuing a veterinary feed directive (VFD) are expected to comply with the federal definition of a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) or their state definition if it...

Accessibility is key when storing VFDs at integrated companies

The best place for integrated companies to store veterinary feed directives (VFDs) should depend on whether they’re keeping hard or electronic copies.

Give agriculture the ‘steering wheel’ for data collection

Increased veterinary supervision of antimicrobials in food-producing animals is coming about despite the absence of important scientific and ethical insights, according to a Kansas State University...

Guidance for Industry No 233

Common questions and answers regarding veterinary feed directive regulations.

Learn to balance pig VFDs and milling sites

Pig and property ownership determines the requirements for manufacturing and using medicated feed products under the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules. The type of medicated feed product...

FDA vet offers guidance for syncing indications of mature VFD medications to today’s health problems

Part 3 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Documenting diagnoses: What are FDA’s expectations for VFD medications?

The updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule does not specifically define how veterinarians writing VFDs must document their clinical diagnoses, according to an FDA veterinarian.

Making the transition: Tips for managing medicated feed through the Jan. 1 VFD deadline

Part 1 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect January 1, 2017.

Location, location, location: How FDA defines ‘premises’

When issuing a veterinary feed directive, swine veterinarians are expected to provide the physical location of pigs receiving feed with VFD medication.

Laboratory vs. clinical diagnosis: Which is needed for a VFD?

Part 2 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

You’ve got mail: Know the differences between VFD distributor, acknowledgement letters

Notification and acknowledgement letters are required by the updated VFD. If you’re confused about who has to send what to whom, here’s the lowdown...

Review feed rations, budgets with vet to ensure proper antibiotic use

Taking time to review feed rations and budgets with their veterinarian will help pork producers stay in compliance with the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules and use medications even more...

The inspector’s here: What to expect from a VFD audit

Part 5 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Panel: Pork producers should meet with veterinarians now to prepare for new VFD rules

A panel of swine industry professionals explored ways pork producers can meet the new VFD requirements during a recent webinar hosted by PORK Network and sponsored by Zoetis.

Guidance for Industry #233: Veterinary Feed Directive Common Format Questions and Answers

This document provides examples that illustrate how a common VFD format might appear and how some of the information on the VFD may be pre-populated by an animal health company.

Want to use a VFD medication in a combination? Check first with your vet

Some medications for swine requiring a veterinary feed directive (VFD) are indicated for use alone while others are approved for use in combination with over-the-counter (OTC) medications that...

Drugs transitioning from over-the-counter to Veterinary Feed Directive status

A list of drugs that will require a VFD as of January 1, 2017 is provided in this document.

Go with the flow: How to manage VFDs with pigs coming and going

Part 9 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

USDA/APHIS launches VFD training module for health professionals

USDA/APHIS has introduced a new training module to help veterinarians and other health professionals get up to speed on the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules.

Get to know the ins and outs of the new veterinary feed directive

In an exclusive interview, William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, clarified some hazy points of the new veterinary feed directive...

Do pork producers need a VFD for each on-farm feed mill?

Part 7 of an exclusive interview with William Flynn, DVM, MS, deputy director for science and policy for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on the new VFD that took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Management scheme aims to limit piglet deaths linked to blood poisoning

Danish pig producers are being encouraged to reassess their herd health management after it emerged that blood poisoning from routine operations was a significant cause of piglet mortality.

Boar-taint vaccination associated with less male aggression in Australian study

Boar-taint vaccination improved the welfare of male pigs kept under commercial conditions by inhibiting sexual and aggressive behavior, according to new research from Australia.

Be prepared for surgical castration and tail docking ban, EU producers told

Europe’s pig producers should prepare themselves for an eventual ban on surgical castration and tail docking across the continent, according to a leading industry expert.

VCPR: Should swine vets follow their state or federal definition?

Under the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule, licensed veterinarians issuing VFDs are expected to operate in compliance with either their state-defined veterinary-client-patient...

Selfies and other images not proof of VCPR

Videos or photos cannot be used as a way to establish the veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) needed to obtain veterinary feed directives (VFDs), according to William T. Flynn, DVM, MS,...

What if it takes more than one feed mill to complete a VFD order?

Under the updated veterinary feed directive rule, the same feed mill is supposed to fill the entire order for feed containing a medically important antibiotic.

Want the recipe for a VFD? Here are 14 key ingredients

Issuing a veterinary feed directive (VFD) under FDA’s new rules involves more than just completing a form and sending it to the pork producer and distributor.

FDA product tables are helpful planning tools for pork producers, vets, feed distributors

FDA has posted a series of tables on its website listing all medicated feed additives currently approved for use in swine, along with their active ingredients, brand names, label type and

Enriched pens linked to less gestational stress, lower piglet mortality

Housing sows in enriched pens can reduce stress and have a positive impact on the development and survival rate of piglets, according to scientists.

Bigger not always better in quest for sustainable pork

Striving to produce heavier pigs is not necessarily the answer to increasing pig productivity and farm profitability, an expert in pig genetics has warned.

Benefits of castration alternative presented at global pig-health event

Two world-renowned experts discussed the economic and welfare benefits of using a novel castration alternative at the 2016 International Pig Veterinary Society conference in Dublin.

Castration also hurts the bottom line in pig production

A new study from Spain shows that surgical castration leads to higher mortalities and lower weaning weights in male piglets — and as a result, diminished economic returns.

Responsible use of antibiotics: Understanding the veterinary feed directive

Informative webinar explains the VFD and the responsibilities of veterinarians, feed mills and producers.

French pork producer focuses on sustainability to meet evolving consumer demands

In a country world-famous for its food, a small French pig producer’s strategy for meeting consistently high standards of quality, welfare and nutrition has earned it a spot on the map.

Veterinary Feed Directive, Final Rule

Amendment to FDA's animal drug regulations regarding VFD drugs, which is intended to improve the efficiency of the VFD program while protecting human and animal health.

New FDA antibiotic guidelines: Why comply?

FDA’s new antimicrobial guidelines are strictly voluntary — to a degree. In the agency’s own words, they “do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities”; they merely “describe the...

New FDA guidelines: Rating an animal antibiotic’s importance to humans

The new industry guidelines issued by the US Food and Drug Administration in December suggest removing performance claims from food-animal antimicrobials deemed “medically important” to humans...


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