The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rules that take effect tomorrow – December 15, 2016 – will change the way feed-grade antibiotics are used in animal production. Implementation of the new regulations is just days away: January 1, 2017. Under the new regulations, many antibiotics previously available in over-the-counter products will require veterinary oversight and a veterinary feed directive for use. Extra-label use of antibiotics for growth and feed efficiency purposes will be disallowed.

To navigate the new regulations, producers may need to work more closely with their veterinarians to establish veterinarian-client-patient relationships (VCPR). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website outlines the key elements of a VCPR and additional pertinent VFD information at

Ensuring animal health is always a priority for producers, who may consider removing products containing antibiotics from animal feeding protocols where the use of such products may now be restricted. While no replacements for antibiotics exist, the opportunity to evaluate the use of antibiotics in food animal production may lead producers to use products that promote overall animal health.

“Taking the time to evaluate the effectiveness of current feeding protocols can result in improved efficiency in management practices,” said William A. Zimmer, DVM, President of Bio-Vet, Inc. “Microbial and nutritional supplements support animal health and are also versatile enough to complement existing protocols.”

Animals experience significant stress during challenging periods, which disrupts healthy microbial activity in the digestive tract. When this occurs, pathogens can develop, and animals become more susceptible to disease. Microbial products support animal health at birth, and throughout challenging periods, by populating the intestine with beneficial bacteria to aid healthy immune function.

Bio-Vet, Inc., founded in 1991, researches, manufactures, and markets direct fed microbial and nutritional products for dairy and beef cattle, small ruminants, and horses. Bio-Vet is a leader in using beneficial bacteria to improve animal health and productivity. The company holds U.S. patents for its innovative products.