FDA Changes to Livestock Antibiotic Regulations

There are some new changes coming in 2023 to antibiotic regulations for livestock.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) plan for supporting veterinary antimicrobial stewardship is scheduled to be fully implemented in 2023. As part of this plan, all remaining over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics used in production agriculture are scheduled to be switched to prescription-only. However; vaccines, de-wormers, injectable and oral nutritional supplements, and topical non-antibiotic treatments will not require veterinary prescription. This action is a move by the CVM to slow the rate of antibiotic resistance, particularly in classes of antibiotics also used in human medicine. Veterinarians are tasked to slow the rate of bacterial resistance by using antibiotics only when necessary to treat, control, or prevent disease. Doing so preserves antibiotic efficacy for humans and animals.

Producers with current Veterinary Client Patient Relationships (VCPR) may still purchase antibiotics directly from their veterinarian or from a distributor with the vet’s prescription. Local distributors (for example, farm supply stores) are currently evaluating their ability to manage prescription pharmaceuticals in the future. The VCPR is the key that unlocks the medicine cabinet. Wisconsin Statues’ Chapter 89 defines the VCPR as the relationship between a licensed veterinarian, a client (who owns the animal), and the patient (the animal) in which all the following apply:

The veterinarian:

  1. assumes the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the patient, and the client agrees to accept those medical judgments and to follow the vet’s instructions
  2. has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate a general or preliminary diagnosis because of a recent exam or medically appropriate and timely visits to the animal’s premises
  3. is readily available for any follow-up treatment the patient may need, including adverse reactions to medications used or prescribed by the veterinarian

We encourage all livestock producers to establish their veterinary relationship now. Don’t wait until there is an emergency. Engage with your farm’s veterinarian today to visit your farm and to advise treatment protocols and drug orders so that you are prepared to treat your animals in a timely and effective manner.

Extension Dairy E-Newsletter and Prepare for Antibiotic Accessibility Changes

Written by Ryan Sterry, Extension Regional Dairy Educator

Don’t miss out, sign up today to receive UW – Madison Extension’s Dairy E-Newsletter. We will dive into two main topics each issue and highlight one of our specialists or educators. Also, we will share an upcoming calendar of events, so you know when there are dairy events coming up digitally or in an area near you. Visit https://bit.ly/dairye-news to sign up today. 

For more information please contact the Agricultural Service and Education Center

Phone: 715-531-1930

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