FDA Guidance on Antibiotic Use in Animal Feeds

September 16, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Larry Granger, DVM, senior leader at the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explains the US Food and Drug Administration's guidance on antibiotic use in animal populations.

Larry Granger, DVM, senior leader at the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explains the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) guidance on antibiotic use in animal populations.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“The FDA has taken steps already to address the issue in animal agriculture. They have published a couple of guidance documents, number 209 and 213. One of the things that those documents do, is remove any indication for use of antibiotics in animal populations for growth promotion or feed efficiency.

Antibiotics in animal feeds can only be used for treatment control or prevention of specific diseases. Veterinarians are responsible for writing a Veterinary Feed Directive, which is basically like a prescription, to be able to have antibiotics included in animal feeds. When they write the Veterinary Feed Directive, they can only write that directive according to the labeled instructions for use of that particular antibiotic in animal feed.

What we’re saying is, the FDA has approved a particular use of an antibiotic in an animal feed [and] veterinarians can only order that antibiotic to be used in animal feeds [in] that particular way for those indications; that puts a limit on how widespread the use of antibiotics might be. They can only be used on the order of a veterinarian in animal feeds."