Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)

A Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) or VFD Order is a written statement from a licensed veterinarian that authorizes a client to obtain and use a VFD drug in or on animal feed in accordance with label directions that are approved or indexed by the FDA. Under section 512(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, VFD drugs are considered to be approved new animal drugs and extra-label use of a VFD drug is strictly prohibited. The veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is the basis for interaction among veterinarians, their clients, and their patients.

VFD drugs are a category created as part of the Animal Drug Availability Act (ADAA) of 1996 (P.L. 104-250) and final regulations have been published by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine in 21 CFR 510, 514, and 558. Recently the FDA amended regulations to the VFD drug section of the ADAA, with the final rule, published in the Federal Register effective October 1, 2015.

Effective January 1, 2017, the use of any “medically important” antimicrobial agent in or on animal feed is considered a VFD order and, accordingly, must be authorized by a licensed veterinarian and used in compliance with the new regulations. Animal producers will no longer be able to indicate use of these feeds for growth promotion or improved feed efficiency.

More resources are available on our VFD Links Page and our Species Specific website.