Reduction in positive tankers and dumped milk.
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Industry continues drug residue prevention

July 09, 2013
POSTED BY: Gary Neubauer | DVM | Senior Manager | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Good news: The dairy industry continues to reduce drug residue violations. Consider these facts:

  • The rate of meat residue violations from market dairy cows has dramatically decreased.
  • Veal calf carcass violations are down.
  • The amount of milk dumped from residue-positive tankers has dropped for a fourth straight year.1

We’ve attacked the drug residue challenge head-on, and we can’t turn back now. We need greater prevention methods now more than ever.

  • Market dairy cows are still 300 times more likely than beef cattle to have a drug residue.2
  • Penicillin still ranks as the top drug found in drug residues because it is used in an extra-label fashion without veterinary oversight.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has expanded testing to new drugs and increased the number of samples per year.3

Working with your veterinarian should be your first step in developing a residue avoidance plan and establishing a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Your veterinarian should be your partner and adviser on residue avoidance and can help you:

  • Write treatment protocols using on-label treatments
  • Train employees on how to follow label directions
  • Keep accurate health records

And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian about the Residue Free Guarantee™*, which guarantees no residue violations when the products are used according to their labels.


*Residue Free Guarantee: If you use a Zoetis-branded ceftiofur product according to label indications, and experience a violative ceftiofur milk or meat residue, Zoetis will compensate you for the beef market value of the animal or purchase the tanker of milk at fair market value. You must purchase the product from a Zoetis-approved supplier, use the product according to label indications, have documentation of the product purchase and treatment records, and have conducted training on appropriate use to ensure proper dose and route of administration of the product. Extra-label use as prescribed by a veterinarian is excluded from the guarantee. If you experience a ceftiofur residue violation after following label indications and the above steps, contact Zoetis VMIPS (Veterinary Medical Information and Product Support) at 800-366-5288 to report the situation.


1 Final Reports. National Milk Drug Residue Database. Available at: . Accessed September 20, 2013.

2 Enforcement Actions. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations. Available at: Accessed September 20, 2013.

3 Federal Register. Department of Agriculture. 9 CFR Parts 417. Docket No. FSIS-2012-0012. New Analytic Methods and Sampling Procedures for the United States National Residue Program for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products. Vol. 77. No. 130. Available at: Accessed September 20, 2013.


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