|Article Index||"Use of Animal Drugs in Livestock Management"||Article Index|
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USE OF ANIMAL DRUGS IN LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT
How to handle antibiotics and other drugs to prevent residues in meat while maintaining an effective animal health program.
Use of animal drugs in food animal production must be accepted as a responsibility rather than a right when trying to improve animal health. Drugs should be used to enhance a health program and not as a substitute for good management.
Disease prevention is based on good nutritional and environmental factors, sanitation, and the use of a complete herd health program. Use of vaccines for common diseases and in some cases segregation or culling of infected animals is important. Good management practices improve environment, prevent animal stress that leads to disease, and generally reduce the need for drugs.
The medication to be used as an adjunct to good management must be chosen carefully with regard for the specific disease problem (causes, diagnosis, and prevention).
After medication selection, correct dosage and method of administration is important to comply with label excretion time (withdrawal time). By not adhering to all guidelines, adverse effects on food safety could occur.
Occasionally some medications can actually compromise the patient's well being. Seeking a qualified veterinarian's advice and supervision is highly recommended regarding drug use in any food animal.
Producers should consider and fully understand the following questions regarding health management and drug usage:
Inability to answer the above questions is associated with indiscriminate use of drugs and may harm an animal and/or cause residues. Frequently, veterinarians must help producers understand the appropriate use of drugs and provide recommendations on a specific problem.
Recently the FDA has issued more stringent guidelines for the use of drugs. This includes a decrease in the drug tolerance level for any extra-label use, especially if the possibility of development of residues exist.
On-farm inspections by state/federal regulatory officials can reveal violations that can severely penalize the producer. These inspections are not new. However, a greater emphasis now is placed on drug identification, its source, and other specific data related to prevention of residues.
The FDA also has classified and defined terms regarding animal drugs and their usage. Producers must comply with guidelines as they are indicated on labels attached to the drug container.
Producers and veterinarians should understand the importance of proper labeling, and guidelines to follow, when it comes to animal drugs.
Drug Labeling Terms
Label: A display of written, printed, or graphic matter attached to the immediate container of the article (drug). Over-the-counter drug (OTC): A drug that can be purchased and used by a producer without supervision of a veterinarian. The label of an OTC drug must bear adequate directions for use by the producer and be written to be understood by the producer. When used by a producer in the absence of a veterinarian's order, an OTC drug must be used to comply with the labeling. Veterinary prescription drug (Rx): A drug for which adequate directions for layman use cannot be written because of toxicity, or possible harmful effects, and as such, requires the supervision and knowledge of a veterinarian to ensure its safe and effective use. All veterinary prescription drugs are required to bear the statement: "CAUTION: Federal Law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian." Extra-label use: The use of a drug (OTC and/or ) in a manner other than that listed on its label constitutes extra-label use. This can occur, for example, when a product is used at a different dosage, by a different route of administration, for a different species of animals, or an unlabeled disease condition. Extra-label use by a producer is illegal. Extra-label use criteria:
Veterinarian-Client Patient Relationship (VCPR): "An appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship will exist when:
2. Client's name.
4. Animal's ID.
5. Drug name.
6. Dosage and route of administration.
7. Withdrawal times for meat and milk even if zero.
8. Storage temperature and category (i.e., age and physiologic status: lactating or dry cow).
9. Expiration date.
10. Name of manufacturer.
11. Active ingredient.
Misunderstanding and poor communication are major reasons for poor management of drugs and/or animals that have received treatment. The following recommendations are encouraged:
2. Keep an inventory of all drug purchases.
3. Record usage of each dose of every drug.
4. Identify all treated animals.
5. Follow all withdrawal directions.
6. Know where to seek help to conduct residue tests.
A properly labeled drug for food animals sometimes can produce residues beyond the withholding period, particularly when:
2. Abnormal drug administration routes are used (i.e., injecting a drug in muscle instead of subcutaneously).
3. Combinations of drugs are used for treatment.
4. Drugs approved for one animal species are used in another.
5. The animal is critically ill causing normal drug clearance time to increase.
The large number and variety of drugs mandate maintenance and use of good records, in addition to better management and identification of treated animals. Many of these must be used in an extra-label manner as FDA approval of the drug does not allow other usage.
Summary of Drug Types
Following is a summary of the general drug types used in food animal production.
2. Drugs used for non-infectious disease such as nutrient deficiencies, indigestion, metabolic problems: a) vitamins; b) minerals; c) calcium/magnesium/propylene glycol etc. for milk fever, tetany, ketosis; d) energy additives; e) digestive stimulants.
3. Drugs for reproductive management are those that may: a) induce calving (certain steroids and others); b) produce uterine contractions to evacuate the uterus (oxytocin, ergonovine); c) control reproductive infections - (antibiotics and others); d) induce estrus and heat synchronization (prostaglandins, estrogens & progesterone); e) treat various types of ovarian cysts (GnRH, HCG and prostaglandins); f) maintain pregnancy (progesterone); g) produce super ovulation in embryo transfer programs (FSH); h) anesthesia/tranquilizers.
4. Production related drugs: a) BST, (bovine somatotropin) and PST (porcine somatotropin) (in future if FDA approves); b) growth implants -- some cattle; c) Ionophores -- rumensin etc. -- heifer development; d) sodium bicarbonate (buffers).
5. Anesthetics: a) general anesthetics; b) local anesthetics (lidocaine, etc); c) tranquilizers -- (Rompun and others).
6. Internal and External Parasite Drugs: a) dewormers; b) many types of insecticides.
7. Preventive medical compounds: a) vaccines; b) sanitizers in animal environment.
8. Agricultural chemicals and insect preventatives in animal environment.
The extensive list above points out the absolute necessity of professional veterinary service, proper labeling, and record keeping for all agricultural products that may be used in farm management. READ THE LABEL and comply with instructions as improper use of many of these products can kill, permanently injure, or render the animal useless as a production unit. All of these reasons are important, but of even greater significance is the production of safe food animal products the consumer can trust and buy with total confidence.
About the authors:|
File G1093 under: ANIMAL DISEASES
F-6, General Livestock
Issued June 1992; 10,000, printed.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kenneth R. Bolen, Director of Cooperative Extension, University of Nebraska, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension educational programs abide with the non-discrimination policies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.
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