Preventing human error is the key to eliminating antibiotic residues, says Gary Gillette, veterinarian formerly with Pfizer Animal Health.

Nine years of research at a milk-safety assay lab reveal that most residue incidents result from one of these four common mistakes. Take steps to prevent them from happening on your dairy.

  • Milk from treated cows is not properly withheld. A paint mark or ankle band came off, or employees didn’t communicate clearly about how long to discard the milk.
  • Dry cows milked by accident. A recently treated dry cow may have ended up in the milking herd by mistake.
  • Failure to operate milking equipment properly. If the same milking units are used for both treated and untreated cows, they need to be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
  • Extra-label antibiotic use. Always use antibiotics according to the recommended dose, duration and route of administration.