Residue Avoidance Resources

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in partnership with the University of Minnesota are provided resources to Minnesota's Dairy Producers on the topic of antibiotic residues.  

Letter to Minnesota Dairy Producers from MDA
Re: FDA evaluation of existing antibiotic and drug residue surveillance
Released September 4, 2012

Printer Friendly PDF: 6 Steps to Zero Residues

6 Steps to Zero Residues

Step 1: Consult, develop and review Animal Treatment Protocols with your herd’s veterinarian.

Step 2: Develop and maintain Animal Treatment Records

Treatment records must be maintained for a minimum 24 months. The following information should be recorded:

  1. Pen / Group / or Individual Identification
  2. Date treated
  3. Product used
  4. Dosage used
  5. Route and location of administration
  6. Earliest date animal will have cleared milk withhold and meat withdrawal period
  7. Tentative diagnosis
  8. Outcome of treatment
  9. Name of person administering product

Step 3: Mark treated cows with highly visible indicators – Even before treatment.

  • Brightly colored leg bands.
  • Brightly colored duct tape around legs.
  • Mark treated cow’s udder with paint or marker.
  • If possible, - Separate treated cows from milking herd and milk treated cows last.

Step 4: Withhold all milk from treated cows for the complete prescribed withdrawal time. Even if residue test shows the milk is clear.

Step 5: TEST the TANK before loading onto truck. Work with your dairy field representative on the correct procedures.

Step 6: Check Animal Treatment Records before any animal leaves your farm for any reason.

  • When an animal leaves the farm, record animal ID, animal destination, and obtain slaughter backtag numbers from livestock market or processing plant.

Additional Resources

There are many comprehensive resources to assist dairy producers to incorporate residue avoidance plans into their operations. 

The Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual is a concise review of judicious use of antibiotics in dairy animals. The manual is a quick resource to review those antibiotics approved for dairy animals and can also be used as an educational tool and resource for farm managers as they develop their on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues.

The National Dairy BQA Producers Manual consists of formalized training materials developed to train dairy producers primarily focused on the production of milk on the topic of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA).

Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that provides guidelines for beef cattle production. The program raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the cattle industry.

Understanding if you are at risk for residues in milk and meat is important for producers to focus efforts on development of solutions. Use this residue risk assessment developed by Pfizer animal health to evaluate management practices that impact your level of residue risk.

Commercial tests for dairy producers to test for common residues.

Commercial tests for dairy producers to test for common residues.

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