NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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May 17, 2010 Ag Column


Well has spring finally sprung?  Today and the rest of the week would indicate we should have clear sailing this week except for all of the water, everywhere.  This is a reminder for everyone to take extra precautions this spring planting season: people will be in a hurry, roads are going to be a very big problem, fields are still very saturated, highway drivers are always in a hurry and need to slow down and it is the time of year which is very close to June 1.  Today’s article is going to be very abbreviated with a topic from another source as I am also heading to a tractor.  I have told many that if a time comes and a one day helper is needed to call and today is the first.

Summer often brings a couple cattle health issues that must be treated for the well-being of the animal. Foot rot and pinkeye are both infections that often are responsive to antibiotic therapy. Veterinarians may suggest or prescribe antibiotics to treat these infected animals. Producers should closely follow the veterinarian’s directions, and also read the label of the product used. Most of these medications will require that the producer keep the treated animal for the label-directed withdrawal time. The Oklahoma Beef Quality Assurance Manual contains the following discussion of medication withdrawal times.

“A withdrawal time may be indicated on the label of certain medications. This is the period of time that must pass between the last treatment and the time the animal will be slaughtered or milk used for human consumption. For example, if a medication with a 14-day withdrawal period was last given on August 1, the withdrawal would be completed on August 15 and that would be the earliest the animal could be harvested for human consumption. All federally approved drugs will include the required withdrawal time for that drug on the product label or package insert. These withdrawal times can range from zero to as many as 60 days or more. It is the producer’s responsibility to be aware of withdrawal times of any drugs used in their operation. Unacceptable levels of drug residues detected in edible tissues collected at harvest may result in traceback, quarantine, and potential fines or jail time. Substantial economic losses may result for the individual producer as well as negative publicity for the entire beef industry. Producers are responsible for residue problems and should follow these three rules:

1. Do not market animals for food until the withdrawal time listed on the label or as prescribed by the veterinarian has elapsed.
2. Use only medications approved for cattle and exactly as the label directs or as prescribed by your veterinarian.
3. If ever in doubt, rely on the veterinarian-client-patient relationship you have established with your veterinarian.


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