Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Critical Veterinarian Feed Directive Information

The FDA Veterinary Feed Directive rule (VFD) is now in full effect. It is important for veterinarians to remember that they are liable for ensuring that VFDs are correct and complete. Veterinarians should also ensure that they are only writing VFDs as part of a valid Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) as defined by the state of Utah. Veterinarians should begin familiarizing themselves with the VFD by watching this video.

The full text of the VFD can be found here.

All veterinarians who are planning on writing VFDs should familiarize themselves with these documents:

Honeybee Biology & Beekeeping

It is recommended that veterinarians familiarize themselves with honeybee biology and beekeeping by watching this video series created by the University of Georgia. Veterinarians who want a more sophisticated understanding of honey bees should read “Honeybee Veterinary Medicine: Apis mellifera L.” by Nicolas Vidal-Naquet. Veterinarians can contact the Apiary Program with any questions or requests for assistance at:

(801) 538-4912
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sampling for American & European Foulbrood

Take a clean swab and stick it into 5-6 cells containing brood that display the most pronounced symptoms. Repeat this process with another clean swab and 5-6 different cells. Take both swabs and place them in a paper envelope (do not put them in an air/water tight environment). Include the following information with the sample:

  • Your contact information
  • Name and contact information of the beekeeper
  • Date and approximate location the sample was collected


Samples can be mailed to either Utah Department of Agriculture and Food or Beltsville Bee Research Lab for diagnosis.

UDAF Entomology Lab
350 N. Redwood Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Bee Disease Diagnosis
Bee Research Laboratory
10300 Baltimore Ave. BARC-East
Bldg. 306 Room 316
Beltsville, MD 20705

What is the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)?

The Veterinary Feed Directive is a rule that regulates how medically important antibiotics—medications that are important for treating human disease—can be administered to animals in feed and drinking water. Among the provisions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require veterinary oversight whenever such antibiotics are administered to any animal species via feed or water, even if the animals are not intended for food production. The VFD took effect on January 1st, 2017.

Please watch this video to familiarize yourself with the VFD. 

How is UDAF and the Apiary Program involved?

UDAF and the Apiary Program are not responsible for implementation or enforcement of the VFD rule. The VFD rule is a federal level rule that was written by the FDA and is now enforced by the FDA. UDAF and the Apiary Program are working to educate beekeepers on the requirements and to find veterinarians who are willing to work with beekeepers. This is being done to lessen the impact of VFD implementation on beekeepers in Utah.

Why is the VFD being implemented?

The driving force for the initial VFD rule in 1996 and the recent revisions is improving drug availability for the benefit of animal health and welfare, and, in turn, food safety. The increasing threat of antibiotic resistance (antimicrobial resistance) to both human and animal health compelled the FDA to take action by removing production uses of medically important antibiotics and implementing greater veterinary oversight by transitioning over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics to VFD or prescription status. Any antibiotic use can contribute to antibiotic resistance, so it is important to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate uses of antibiotics. The use of medically important antibiotics in livestock is one factor that can contribute to increasing resistance, and the 2017 VFD revisions (published in June 2015) aim to put responsibility for their use into the hands of veterinarians, who are trained to understand not only when these medications are needed, but also what is the appropriate drug, dose, duration, and administration method to resolve infection and protect animal health and our food supply. The expertise of the veterinarian is critical to ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics in animals.

How does the VFD affect beekeepers?

Beekeepers use antibiotics to treat European foulbrood (EFB) and American foulbrood (AFB). Beekeepers will need to comply with the VFD rule when they apply antibiotics to their hives. Meaning beekeepers will need to work with a licensed veterinarian to obtain and lawfully apply antibiotics to their hives. The Apiary Program has compiled a list of veterinarians that are interested in working with beekeepers.

Beekeeping Homepage

VFD Info for Veterinarians

Find a Veterinarian

Veterinary Feed Directive FAQs


Foulbrood disease comes in two varieties European Foulbrood (EFB) and American Foulbrood (AFB). While both are rare in the State of Utah, American Foulbrood is of particular concern to beekeepers. Please consult the information provided below and contact UDAF with any questions or concerns you may have.

American Foulbrood

Every beekeeper should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of American foulbrood (AFB). AFB is the most serious of the brood diseases and often results in the death of infected colonies. AFB is highly contagious and can quickly infect many beehives in an area. Please contact UDAF to schedule an inspection if you suspect one of your hives is showing signs of AFB or submit a sample.

American foulbrood (AFB) is not characterized by any single symptom. Pictured above are three of the primary visible symptoms:

  • Spotty (inconsistent) brood pattern — As larvae die it creates a spotty brood pattern.
  • Black Scale — The young larvae are reduced to a blackened scale that is difficult to remove.
  • Ropey Dead Larvae — The dead larvae (that have not yet dried out) rope for an inch or more because the AFB bacteria link together like a chain.

See our fact sheet for a more detailed overview of the symptoms: American Foulbrood Fact Sheet

AFB Treatment

Burning is the safest and most effective way to control AFB. For Beekeepers who do not wish to burn their hives, there are two treatment options:

  1. The beekeeper can contact a veterinarian who will be able to discuss options for appropriate antibiotic treatment
  2. The beekeeper can contact the Phage Hunters program at BYU if they are interested in treating their hives with phages instead of antibiotics. This does not require the approval of a veterinarian.

It is important that robbing is not allowed to occur when a hive is infected with AFB because robber bees may transmit the disease to their colony. If treatment is unsuccessful burning the equipment is the most prudent course of action. Burning is necessary due to the long lived (40 years) AFB spores that are left behind on exposed equipment.

European Foulbrood

European foulbrood (EFB) infections are significantly less serious than American foulbrood infections. Healthy colonies are even sometimes able to overcome infections without intervention from the beekeeper. However it is still important that beekeepers be aware of the signs and symptoms so they can handle EFB infections according to their management philosophy. Please contact UDAF to schedule an inspection if you suspect one of you hives is showing signs of EFB or submit a sample.

European foulbrood (EFB) is not characterized by any single symptom. Pictured above are three of the primary visible symptoms:

  • Spotty (inconsistent) brood pattern — As larvae die it creates a spotty brood pattern.
  • Developing larvae that turn light brown – much like coffee with cream.
  • Larvae that die before they have been capped – EFB kills developing bees before they are capped over.

European foulbrood will also cause the dead brood to be ropey and will leave scales. It can be difficult to visually differentiate between American and European foulbrood, which is why lab testing so essential.

EFB Treatment

The only course of treatment for European foulbrood requires beekeepers to contact a veterinarian who will be able to discuss options for appropriate antibiotic treatment. Thankfully equipment from hives that had European foulbrood does not need to be destroyed. Further information on European foulbrood and how to handle exposed equipment can be found here.

Name Phone Business Address City & Zip
Dustin Durfee 385-881-3846 950 N. Aurora Blvd. Aurora, UT 84620
Verland King 435-425-3487 PO Box 156 Bicknell, UT 84715
Kate Schoenhals 801-446-3046 3103 W. 14865 S. Bluffdale, UT 84065
Glen Jensen 435-381-2539 PO Box 535 Castle Dale, UT 84513
Kelly D. Esplin 435-586-6216 1203 N. Main Cedar City, UT 84721
Richard Bagley 435-586-4918 2265 W. Midvalley Rd. Cedar City, UT 84721
Scott Rawlinson 435-590-9763 390 N. 4050 W. Cedar City, UT 84721
Klell Ekins 435-864-3921 1115 E. Main Delta, UT 84624
John Anderson 435-979-4127 1860 W. 1500 S. Delta, UT 84624
Tyler Sorensen 435-528-7900 630 S. Main St. Gunnison, UT 84634
Jared Christensen Dum 435-528-7900 630 S. Main St. Gunnison, UT 84634
Bruce Williams 801-787-4326 90 Lloyd Lane Heber City, UT 84032
Rustin Pickett 435-590-5040 90 Lloyd Lane Heber City, UT 84032
Aldon Watkins 435-245-4710 16 E. 6200 S. Hyrum, UT 84319
Kevin Ballard 435-644-2400 6676 E. Hwy 89 Kanab, UT 84741
Jason Gibson 435-752-2151 95 W. 900 N. Logan, UT 84321
Jenny Bunnell 435-881-8560 95 W. 900 N. Logan, UT 84321
Gerald Koppenhater 970-749-0262 7388 Creek 41 Mancos, CO 81328
Joy Moffett 435-259-8710 4575 Spanish Valley Dr. Moab, UT 84532
Alexis Johnson 435-259-8710 4575 Spanish Valley Dr. Moab, UT 84532
Len Sorensen 435-259-8710 4575 Spanish Valley Dr. Moab, UT 84532
Jason Lott 801-829-3632 395 N. 400 E. Morgan, UT 84050
Marion K. Lott 801-829-3632 395 N. 400 E. Morgan, UT 84050
John Evans 801-372-8165 143 W. 900 N. Payson, UT 84651
Mike Walburger 801-372-4253 4279 W. 12800 S. Payson, UT 84651
Boyd Thayn 435-637-5797 1989 Airport Rd. Price, UT 84501
Justin Bowles 435-258-2484 715 S. 250 E. Richmond, UT 84333
Cliff Mitchell 435-258-2190 191 W. 100 N. Richmond, UT 84333
Mike Gamble 435-722-9066 214 N. 2500 E. Roosevelt, UT 84066
Tracy Wright 801-662-8092 755 4th Ave SLC, UT 84103
P. Greg Huff 801-234-9671 845 N. 300 W. Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Moe Bracken 435-628-1634 55 S. Bluff St. St. George, UT 84770
Ryan K. Bowler 435-628-6532 730 N. Dixie Dr. St. George, UT 84770
Clayton Barton 435-773-5101 969 N. 3050 E. St. George, UT 84790
Gary Gowans 435-882-4100 254 S. Main Tooele, UT 84074
Bear River Animal Hospital 435-257-7455 390 W. 600 N. Tremonton, UT 84337
John Mathis 435-789-4322 85 E. 650 N. Vernal, UT 84078
David L. Moss 801-732-8387 4715 W. Haven Rd. West Haven, UT 84401
Andrea Russell 801-732-8387 4715 W. Haven Rd. West Haven, UT 84401

If you are a veterinarian and would like to be added to or removed from the list, or have your information updated, please contact (801) 538-4912 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..