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Exploration of veterinary shortages in the wake of the Veterinary Feed Directive

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  • 1 Division of Animal Systems, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20250.
  • | 2 Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, APHIS, USDA, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
  • | 3 Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, APHIS, USDA, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
  • | 4 Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, APHIS, USDA, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
  • | 5 Division of Animal Systems, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20250.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify geographic areas in the United States where food animal veterinary services may be insufficient to meet increased needs associated with the US FDA's Veterinary Feed Directive.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Data collected between 2010 and 2016 from the US Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, the National Animal Health Monitoring System Small-Scale US Livestock Operations Study, and the USDA's National Veterinary Accreditation Program.

PROCEDURES Each dataset was analyzed separately to identify geographic areas with greatest potential for veterinary shortages. Geographic information systems methods were used to identify co-occurrence among the datasets of counties with veterinary shortages.

RESULTS Analysis of the loan repayment program, Small-Scale Livestock Operations Study, and veterinary accreditation datasets revealed veterinary shortages in 314, 346, and 117 counties, respectively. Of the 3,140 counties in the United States during the study period, 728 (23.2%) counties were identified as veterinary shortage areas in at least 1 dataset. Specifically, 680 counties were identified as shortage areas in 1 dataset, 47 as shortage areas in 2 datasets, and 1 Arizona county as a shortage area in all 3 datasets. Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, and Virginia had ≥ 3 counties identified as shortage areas in ≥ 2 datasets.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Many geographic areas were identified across the United States where food animal veterinary services may be inadequate to implement the Veterinary Feed Directive and meet other producer needs. This information can be used to assess the impact of federal regulations and programs and help understand the factors that influence access to food animal veterinary services in specific geographic areas.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify geographic areas in the United States where food animal veterinary services may be insufficient to meet increased needs associated with the US FDA's Veterinary Feed Directive.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Data collected between 2010 and 2016 from the US Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, the National Animal Health Monitoring System Small-Scale US Livestock Operations Study, and the USDA's National Veterinary Accreditation Program.

PROCEDURES Each dataset was analyzed separately to identify geographic areas with greatest potential for veterinary shortages. Geographic information systems methods were used to identify co-occurrence among the datasets of counties with veterinary shortages.

RESULTS Analysis of the loan repayment program, Small-Scale Livestock Operations Study, and veterinary accreditation datasets revealed veterinary shortages in 314, 346, and 117 counties, respectively. Of the 3,140 counties in the United States during the study period, 728 (23.2%) counties were identified as veterinary shortage areas in at least 1 dataset. Specifically, 680 counties were identified as shortage areas in 1 dataset, 47 as shortage areas in 2 datasets, and 1 Arizona county as a shortage area in all 3 datasets. Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, and Virginia had ≥ 3 counties identified as shortage areas in ≥ 2 datasets.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Many geographic areas were identified across the United States where food animal veterinary services may be inadequate to implement the Veterinary Feed Directive and meet other producer needs. This information can be used to assess the impact of federal regulations and programs and help understand the factors that influence access to food animal veterinary services in specific geographic areas.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 357 kb)

Contributor Notes

Dr. Tack's present address is Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Dr. Dargatz's present address is Department of Clinical Services, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Address correspondence to Dr. Tack (dot7@cdc.gov).