Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship

CDFA-AUS • 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 • 916-900-5000

Livestock: Use of Antimicrobial Drugs

There is growing concern that antimicrobial use in livestock is associated with the development of antimicrobial resistance in human pathogenic bacteria. While there is deficient evidence to support or deny antimicrobial use in livestock as the source for antimicrobial resistance in humans, resistance is a real and natural event that is accelerated with the use of antibiotics. California Senate Bill 27 (Hill) was signed by Governor Brown on October 10, 2015 with the intent to preserve the efficacy and ensure current and future availability of antibiotics for use in livestock while minimizing the potential public health impact. The bill resulted in additions to the California Food and Agricultural Code (Division 7, Chapter 4.5, Sections 14400-14408) that address use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in livestock, development of antimicrobial drug stewardship programs and best management practices, and surveillance of antimicrobial use and practices as well as antimicrobial resistance patterns in bacteria.

In California, effective January 1st of 2018, over the counter injectable and all other medically important antimicrobials must be administered with a prescription or veterinary feed directive (VFD) ordered by a California licensed veterinarian with a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). The law requires the California Department of Food & Agriculture to ensure that livestock producers in rural areas continue to have timely access to antimicrobials. Note that these changes are separate from the federal regulations regarding antimicrobials in feed and water that became effective on January 1, 2017. For more information on the current FDA regulations read the following section and links under the VFD tab.


REMINDER: The Department will hold two public hearings to receive oral and written public comments in response to the proposed regulations concerning sales of restricted livestock drugs, sales of medically important antimicrobial drugs, and the facilities that sell those products. The official notice distributed to interested parties on July 7, 2017 and the full text of the proposed regulations are available here. Any interested person, or their authorized representative, may present, either orally or in writing, comments regarding the proposed action at one of the public hearings, to be held at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 from 1 PM to 2 PM
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office
1910 S Archibald Ave, Ste Y, Ontario, CA 91761

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 10 AM to 11 AM
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office
2800 Gateway Oaks Dr, Room 101, Sacramento, CA 95833

Please email for more information or if you are interested in attending.

FDA’s current regulations regarding Medicated Feed and Drinking Water

Through efforts initiated by the FDA (as described in GFI #213, link provided under Documents (GFIs) tab) drug sponsors have voluntarily agreed to remove production uses from labels for medicated feeds and drink water products containing medically important antimicrobial drugs. Further, the sponsors have added to the label the need for veterinary oversight. In the case of medically important drugs used in or on feed this means a VFD order from a veterinarian with a valid VCPR is required. For medicated drinking water containing medically important antimicrobial drugs a prescription written by a California licensed veterinarian with a valid VCPR is required. These new requirements went into effect as of January 1, 2017. FDA has required information for a VFD order but not a required form. VFD order templates are available and companies are offering electronic services for VFDs. A key point regarding the VFD order is that it is nonverbal; oral communication will not be accepted by FDA. Note the veterinarian must sign the VFD. Find specific information under the Drug Order, Drug Label & Recordkeeping Requirements tab. For more information regarding these changes please look at the VFD tab and if your question is not answered then contact FDA:

GFI #152 Appendix A identifies Medically, Highly, and Critically important antimicrobials. If an antimicrobial you use fits within a named class then FDA will consider it important. FDA also considers sulfonamides as important. GFI #209 Introduces veterinary oversight and only necessary use as guiding principles. GFI #213 Explains the changes FDA wants to see for the mass use of antimicrobial drugs (Feed and Water).
Proposed Regulations Email to comment or for more information. All public comments must be submitted by August 22, 2017 at 5 PM. Livestock: Use of Antimicrobial Drugs (FAC § 14400 – 14408) California law effective as of January 1st, 2018. AUS Strategic Plan CDFA AUS finalized and approved plan to implement the aforementioned law.
Postcard (Letter) Printable mailer for distribution to producers (A5) Leaflet (Legal) Printable pocket sized brochure for distribution to producers. Poster (Letter) Printable poster for sale yards, feed stores, or producers.
VFD Regulations The Federal Register VFD Regulations Q & A GFI #120: VFD regulation Q&A VFD Requirements for Producers FDA material that can be printed as a brochure VFD Requirements for the Veterinarian FDA material that can be printed as a brochure VFD Distributor Notification List Who plans to sell VFD feed VFD Requirements for the Distributor that also manufactures VFD feed FDA material that can be printed as a brochure VFD Requirements for the Distributor that does not manufacture feed FDA material that can be printed as a brochure VFD Overview Video VFD Video for the Veterinarian VFD Video for Distributors Questions for FDA:

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