By Lyssa Seefeldt, UW-Extension Agriculture Agent, Marquette County & Member of UW-Extension Swine Team
Increasing interest in preventing the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria and protecting the effectiveness of the antimicrobials that we currently have fueled the initiative behind the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule changes. The VFD regulation changes on medically important antimicrobials, previously available as over-the-counter medications came into effect January 2017. A VFD product is a drug that is approved by the FDA for use in livestock feed under veterinary supervision with a written VFD order. To be able to purchase feed with a VFD product in it, the farmer will now need to have a VFD order from their veterinarian. A list of the drugs that transitioned from over-the-counter to requiring a VFD order can be found at http://goo.gl/vhxQJL. A list of drugs that transitioned from over-the-counter to prescription can be found at http://goo.gl/6ygTW5. Now is the time to make sure that you have a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) so that you maintain access to any products that might be more regulated under the implementation of the VFD rule changes.
Being a swine farmer in Wisconsin can mean that it is a challenge to find veterinary care for your pigs. Often in Wisconsin, large animal practices are willing to serve 4-H, FFA, and youth clients on the show side of things, but finding a veterinarian that is willing to be a veterinarian of record for a veterinary-client-patient-relationship is a challenge for many swine farmers. There have been situations where a veterinarian is willing to be the veterinarian of record for someone’s beef animals, but not their pigs. There have been people in the northern part of the state that are having challenges connecting with a veterinarian that is even willing to look at pigs due to the sparse population.
To assist farmers in locating a veterinarian willing to work on swine, the UW-Extension Swine Team has created a map of clinics in Wisconsin and neighboring states that are licensed to work with swine clients. The map can be accessed on the UW-Extension Swine Team website at http://pigconnect.uwex.edu/. This map is constantly being updated, so if you know of a veterinary clinic that is practicing on swine, we would like to connect with them. While this map is not all-inclusive, it provides a place to start when searching for a swine veterinarian for your farm. Included with each point on the map is contact information for the clinic, which veterinarians work with swine, what services that clinic offers for swine clients, and how far the veterinarians are willing to travel. If you have connected with a swine veterinarian because of this map being available, please let a member of the UW-Extension Swine Team know.
For veterinary clinics that would like to be included on the map, you may find the survey at https://goo.gl/WC91H3 or by contacting the Marquette County UW-Extension office to have a paper copy with return postage mailed to you. You can include as much or as little information as you choose, but we will need at a minimum the veterinary service name, which veterinarian(s) are willing to work with swine, a phone number, and location of your practice for mapping purposes. This survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete, so please consider completing the survey to get your clinic on the map. By completing this survey, you and your clinic are agreeing to have your veterinary service location and contact information be mapped. You are also agreeing to allow us to share your responses to the other questions asked about services provided. If you choose to share your email address, it will be used only if the Swine Team has follow-up questions for you. You may choose to withdraw your clinic/name and details from the map at any time by contacting Lyssa Seefeldt. Lyssa can be contacted at 608-297-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.