Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute recently surveyed hundreds of beef veterinarians on preparations and costs related to implementing the new Veterinary Feed Directive rule.

Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute recently surveyed hundreds of beef veterinarians on preparations and costs related to implementing the new Veterinary Feed Directive rule.

Nearly 80 percent of veterinarians surveyed reported that they plan to use existing staff to manage additional recordkeeping requirements. One-in-five respondents plan to either hire new staff or a third party for the additional recordkeeping associated with the expanded VFD rule.

Practicing veterinarians expect the total cost per year for writing and delivering VFDs and total cost per year for maintaining VFD records to be $2,993 per year. Veterinarians expect training costs, including educating clients, others in the industry such as feed nutritionists and feed suppliers, and members of their staff, to be around $1,443.

How much practicing veterinarians plan to charge for each VFD varies. About 50 percent of veterinarians plan to charge between $1 and $25 to write a VFD and another 24 percent plan to charge $26 to $50 for each.

Nearly three-fourths of consulting veterinarians said they anticipate the use of feed-grade antibiotics will decrease on cow-calf operations in the future. The use of antibiotics in backgrounder, stocker and feedlot operations was less certain, with respondents evenly split over whether they expect antibiotic use to decrease or remain unchanged within those segments of the industry.

The K-State survey and accompanying report was compiled by Emilie Herbst, Ted Schroeder, Brad Whitea and Bob Larson.

K-State clinical microbiologist Brian Lubbers calls the rule “the most significant change to drug use regulations the veterinary profession has experienced in more than 20 years.” K-State veterinarian Mike Apley adds that after conducting numerous meetings with private practice veterinarians and producers he’s convinced there are so many nuances to the new VFD rule that “it will take a couple of years to work through the details of the multiple situations in which medically important antibiotics are used in feed.”