Media Statement from Zoetis following FDA’s Publication of Veterinary Feed Directive
Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published the finalized Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). This regulation mandates the rules and responsibilities of licensed veterinarians in prescribing and administering medically important antibiotics in feed.
We are reviewing the Veterinary Feed Directive in detail. We support the intent of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulation to guide veterinarians and farmers as they manage the health and welfare of animals. We believe that veterinarians should be involved in decisions regarding antibiotic use in food animals for the health of the animal and for the safety of the food supply.
Zoetis is committed to supporting our veterinary and livestock producer customers to make a successful transition to the new procedures outlined in the VFD. Zoetis continues to remove growth promotion uses of medically important antibiotics now that the VFD regulation is finalized.
These updates to the VFD were made in conjunction with established procedures in Guidance #213 and aligned with Guidance #209.
Guidance #209 establishes two voluntary principles:
o The use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals should be limited to uses that are considered necessary for assuring animal health.
o The use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals should include veterinary oversight or consultation.
Guidance #213 provides procedures for voluntarily phasing out growth promotion indications and establishing therapeutic treatment indications for the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food producing animals.
o This would mean a change from Over-the-Counter (OTC) to VFD regulation status for medicated feed products containing medically important antimicrobial drugs.
o It also would mean a change from OTC to prescription (Rx) status for medicated drinking water products containing these same antimicrobial drugs.
Zoetis supports the FDA’s efforts to voluntarily phase-out growth promotion indications for medically important antibiotics in food producing animals. Zoetis has already taken action to implement Guidance #209 and #213. This reflects our continued commitment to antibiotic stewardship and represents the many ways that Zoetis promotes the responsible use of antimicrobial drugs in animals.
Zoetis has been a leader in providing ongoing education to veterinarians and livestock producers on the proper use of antimicrobial drugs to treat, control, and prevent infection and disease in livestock animals. We affirm our commitment to this important educational service. Zoetis offers veterinary and livestock producer customers a range of educational programs such as animal husbandry, the Individual Pig Care™ program to help train animal caregivers to identify sick pigs early, and Residue Free Guarantees that promote the use of antimicrobial drugs according to label specifications which minimizes the inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines.
As the new policies move forward, we remain committed to researching and developing new therapeutic products and strategies to help veterinarians treat illness in livestock animals and to help farmers protect the health and wellness of livestock animals.
With the removal of growth promotion indications, use of medically important antibiotics in animals is intended for therapeutic purposes at therapeutic doses and under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2014, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2015, Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
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