When it comes to residue prevention have you considered all potential food sources on your dairy? While milk production is your main food product, followed by market cows, young bull calves that you send to market should not be overlooked.
Producing wholesome milk and beef is our first priority as a dairy industry. Many overlook the opportunity to take ownership of all foodstuffs leaving the dairy and embracing the concept that day-old bull calves can become food.
Many view bull calves as an unlikely source for residue violations because they spend the least amount of time on a dairy. Plus, limited antibiotics are approved for this size and class of animal. However, bob veal calves account for the highest number of residue violations, according to the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) United States National Residue Program for Meat, Poultry, and Egg products 2012 Residue Sample Results report.1
Residue prevention in market bull calves begins at birth with immediate care and careful management. Work with your veterinarian to create a standard operating procedure that includes the following:
Identify, Write and Record
Even if you’re following all of the protocols to ensure calves taken from your dairy won’t have any tissue residues, additional safety measures can be taken. There seems to be a tattered history of bull calves being misidentified at slaughter. Properly identifying animals that leave the dairy strengthens documentation in our food chain.
Every calf should have a durable form of identification (e.g., ear tag) and a written bull calf sales log on your dairy should be used to prevent errors. A written log should include the following information for each calf leaving your dairy:
Make sure you or one of your employees are present when the calf hauler picks up market calves. This is a crucial practice that is easily adopted with today’s modern technology. Also, consider collecting a receipt from the hauler. A receipt should include the following:
Carefully manage details of your market animals. Even the slightest misstep in dairy management could cause residue violations and potentially damage your dairy’s reputation. Work with your veterinarian to help prevent residues in your young bull calves leaving your dairy. For more information about working with your veterinarian to reduce the risk of violative drug residues, visit AvoidResidues.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR SPECTRAMAST DC: People with known hypersensitivity to penicillin or cephalosporins should avoid exposure to SPECTRAMAST DC. Product requires a 30-day dry cow period, and has a 16-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period following last treatment. Use of this product in a manner other than indicated on the label, or failure to adhere to the proper milk discard period, will result in violative residues. See full Prescribing Information.
1 U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. United States National Residue Program for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products 2012 Residue Sample Results. Available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/be77fe0d-2295-417f-9472-6b43052068b9/2012-Red-Book.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. Published September 2014. Accessed September 10, 2015.