Over the past few years, many packers have initiated a Third Party auditing requirement for your farms marketing swine to them. These programs are intended to assure consumers that the animals that produce their pork are well cared for throughout their lives. To prevent complications to farms of having to comply with multiple auditing programs, the National Pork Board (NPB) announced an effort to work with packers to create a common swine audit in June 2014. The NPB wanted a credible, affordable solution to assure on-farm animal well-being. The common audit can be found on the NPB website. The purpose of this is to be proactive and help verify that the pork industry’s approved animal well-being standards are followed. This will be a point-in-time snapshot of your farm by an independent party and there is no educational component to it. There will be 4 focal areas; including records, animals, facilities, and caretakers. It is based on a points scale for pass and fail. There are a few critical failure points around animal welfare, which means if the auditor sees any willfull acts of abuse or improper euthanasia, your farm will fail the audit. Please take a look at the requirements. Four Star has partnered with Kari Steele to work with you and your farms to prepare prior to these audits. She will go through all of the paperwork with you and your employees, looking for areas of improvement to help insure that your farm will pass these audits. Please contact your Four Star veterinary office to set up an appointment with Kari.
What is going to happen with food animal antibiotic usage in the next couple years and how do we prepare for a smooth transition? Many of you are aware of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Guidance #209/#213; however what do they mean for the industry?
FDAs goal is to protect human health and curb development of antimicrobial resistance. The industry will retain access to our current feed grade/water grade antibiotics; but, these guidelines will change the way they are used. VFDs are issued only under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Therefore, producers will be required to have a valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) if they want to use feed medication. Many of you already have this relationship with your Four Star veterinarian as your current PQA plus certification requires it. Record keeping will be critical for this, as well as the common audits that will be talked about in the next section. A VFD will only be valid for 6 months, so knowing your renewal dates will be important. Veterinarians, feed suppliers, and producers must keep a copy of each VFD for 2 years. Continue reading “FDA Guidance #209/#213”