GFI 263: Understanding the Transition and How to Be Proactive

Keep animals healthy, be proactive in their care

Every animal owner has a goal of keeping his or her animals as healthy as possible. Livestock producers and animal enthusiasts strive to keep their animals as healthy as possible, which will be even more important as new regulations are implemented in June that will transition common over the counter (OTC) antibiotics to prescription only.

On June 11, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidance for Industry (GFI) 263 goes into effect, transitioning 91 antibiotics that have been available OTC to prescription only. This means that antibiotics commonly purchased OTC in the past to treat scours, respiratory illnesses, pinkeye, foot rot and more, will now only be available with a prescription. This doesn’t mean you will only be able to purchase from your veterinarian; however, your vet will need to issue your animal a prescription, which means you need to have an established veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR). Additionally, if your local feed or farm store does not have the means to act as pharmacy, these products may be removed from their shelves entirely. 

“A VCPR means that your vet has been present at your place and examined your animals within the last 12 months. It is always good to have an established relationship with a reliable vet so he or she understands your management practices and operation. Sometimes an animal can be treated simply by making a management change instead of giving unnecessary antibiotics,” said Chris Cassady, Ph.D., BioZyme® Beef Technical Sales Manager. 

Keeping animals healthy is always a top priority. Since we know that 70% of the animals’ immune response lives in the digestive tract, gut health is paramount to immune health. There are many ways to support digestive health. For over 70 years, BioZyme has trusted the prebiotic AO-Biotics® Amaferm® to support and enhance digestion. All BioZyme’s Family of Brands deliver Amaferm in their products. The Vita Charge® brand, specifically, is a very convenient option and offers fast acting, multi-species livestock products for support before, during and after stressful times, often the times when animals get sick.

Vita Charge products come in gels, liquids, drenches and tubs for a variety of application methods. In addition to Amaferm, these quick acting products contain mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) that help normalize gut microflora and support the immune system. The synergistic combination of Amaferm and MOS provides rapid resilience to challenges. The products can be used for cattle, sheep, goats and swine in a variety of scenarios including parturition, weaning, receiving, hauling, going off feed or water, vaccinating or showing. 

When it comes time to wean or turn out stockers, the Gain Smart® line is an ideal product that provides nutritional support for a healthy immune system. Gain Smart is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for stocker cattle that promotes healthy, economical pounds by maximizing the energy and protein available in the diet. With Amaferm in each of the four formulas and a complete vitamin and mineral package, your calves should maintain quality health while gaining efficiently.

Finally, for cow-calf producers, the VitaFerm® line of nutritional supplements for beef cattle maximize energy and forage utilization to support successful production. A variety of formulas exist with various nutrients for different management needs; however, all contain Amaferm for increased digestibility.

“Taking a proactive approach with your animal health is a great management tool. Keeping Amaferm in their diet every day helps keep their gut healthy, and we know a healthy gut leads to overall increased health. Not to mention, antibiotics eliminate even the good bacteria in the GI tract. With the BioZyme products there is a product and a formula for nearly every species at every stage of production, that can keep their gut functioning properly and the immune response at bay,” Cassady said.Keep your animals healthy. Establish a relationship with your veterinarian. Be proactive, and come June, the GFI 263 won’t be a challenge. To learn more about the Vita Charge products or to locate a dealer near you, visit

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