For youth swine exhibitors, parents and project advisors, Jan. 1, 2017, will usher in major changes in accessing medicated feeds for show pigs. That’s when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will implement new rules, known as Guidance 209, for antibiotic use in all animals raised for food.
Antibiotics identified as medically important (to human health) will no longer be available for growth promotion purposes, including for show pigs.
Use of medically important antibiotics will be limited to the prevention, treatment or control of a specific health challenge under a veterinarian’s guidance.
Over-the-counter sales of medically important antibiotics administered in feed and water will end. Access to feed-grade antibiotics will require a veterinary feed directive (VFD) for a specific group of pigs for a specific timeline as established by the herd veterinarian. Water medications will require a prescription.
Note that leftover medicated feed will not be able to be fed beyond the timeline or to other animals.
Plan now for changes in feed purchases
Exhibitors are advised to contact a veterinarian if they don’t already have one and get a comprehensive health plan in place. This will include which antibiotics are needed to maintain good health along with other animal husbandry tools, such as biosecurity and vaccinations.
New record-keeping rules being introduced
FDA’s new rules will usher in new record-keeping requirements for producers, including youth with show pigs. Veterinarians who issue VFDs will need to keep the original form for two years. Youth exhibitors/parents/advisors also will need to keep a printed or electronic copy for two years.
Feed mills or distributors also will be required to keep a copy on file for two years. Water prescriptions will need to be kept for one year. All of these records must be made available to FDA on request.
Find the Youth Swine Exhibitors’ Guide to New Antibiotic Rules on the Pork Store. Additionally, if you would like more information about antibiotics, visit the Pork Checkoff’s Antibiotics resource center at pork.org/antibiotics.