Congressman Jason Smith Introduces Bill to Repeal Latest Assault on Rural America
Congressman Smith Introduces Bill to Repeal Latest Assault on Rural America
Legislation would repeal another Obama Administration rule targeting livestock feed and water medications
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08) introduced H.R. 5140, the VFD Repeal Act. The legislation would repeal the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulation set to go into effect January, 1st of 2017. The regulation was created without Congressional oversight and would dramatically change the process of receiving and administering antibiotics to livestock as well as the relationship between veterinarians, feed suppliers, and farmers.
“The Veterinary Feed Directive is another example of how extremely out-of-touch the Obama Administration is with Rural America,” said Smith. “The VFD is something I have heard and spoken with a number of livestock owners in my district about and was a big topic during my recent 30 county district travel period. As a cattle farmer myself I understand how devastating these regulations could be to family farmers, which is why it must be repealed.” Smith added, “This is another unfortunate example of Washington, DC bureaucrats creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, but in this case the burden they are creating could propagate a real crisis in our food supply and add an estimated 130,000 hours of paperwork to farmers.”
The new regulation would require prescriptions for many current over-the-counter antibiotic medications administered to livestock both through feed and water. The additional time required to contact a veterinarian and obtain the antibiotics could be critical, especially in situations where bacteria can travel from animal to animal and hours matter. Additionally, a veterinarian attempting to act quickly on behalf of a farmer could find themselves in violation if they don’t have an established relationship already in place between the farmer and feed supplier.
"Healthy food starts with healthy cattle. We judiciously use antibiotics to treat illness on the rare occasion that it occurs. The Veterinary Feed Directive is not at all rooted in sound science and it does absolutely nothing to advance animal or human health,” said Butch Meier, a cattle producer from Jackson, MO and President-Elect of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. “It is nothing more than government bureaucracy being shoved down the throats of this country's food producers. We appreciate Congressmen Smith for consistently and relentlessly raining down on the administration's regulatory parade."
H.R. 5140 is one piece in a series of legislation that Congressman Smith has proposed along with the SCRUB Act and IRS OWES Act aimed specifically at rolling back Obama Administration rules and holding government agencies more accountable. Both the SCRUB Act and IRS OWES Act have passed the US House.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.