National Dairy FARM Program releases updated drug residue manual

Latest edition identifies drugs subject to newly implemented Veterinary Feed Directive.

The National Dairy FARM Program, created by National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in 2009, has released the 2017 edition of its "Milk & Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual," the primary educational tool for dairy managers covering the judicious, responsible use of antibiotics and how to prevent drug residues in milk and meat.

The “Milk & Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual” serves as a valuable tool to the more than 40,000 dairy producers who participate in the FARM Program. It is a convenient resource for dairy farmers to review the antibiotics approved for use in dairy animals and to develop the comprehensive, on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. The manual includes the most up-to-date veterinary drug information supplied by manufactures, including appropriate withdrawal times.

The 2017 edition now identifies drugs subject to the newly implemented Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and contains updated industry data on the declining presence of antibiotic residues found in milk. It also contains newly approved products released in calendar year 2016. A Spanish version and smaller pocket-size version will be released in the summer of 2017.

According to a U.S. Food & Drug Administration report, only one out of 8,800 milk tankers – or 0.011% – tested positive for antibiotics in 2016, an 89% decrease since 1995. Any tanker of milk that tests positive when it arrives at a processing plant must be destroyed. Additionally, none of the 38,563 retail-ready milk products sampled tested positive for drug residues.

“In the last two decades, the stewardship efforts of farmers and veterinarians is demonstrated by the continuing decline in traces of antibiotic residues in milk leaving the farm,” NMPF president and chief executive officer Jim Mulhern said. “The data demonstrate the dairy industry’s never-ending commitment to producing safe, abundant and affordable milk and dairy beef due, in part, to efforts like FARM.”

Jamie Jonker, NMPF vice president of sustainability and scientific affairs, added that the responsible use of antibiotics has a positive impact on animal health while maintaining a safe milk supply for the public. “The 2017 manual is another step in the U.S. dairy industry’s continued commitment to the judicious use of antimicrobials,” Jonker added.

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