In order to get a handle on drug residue violations, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service is requiring slaughter establishments to provide information about the source of all animals found to have violating residues. Animals from these sources require increased testing, and establishments have been encouraged to stop purchasing animals from “same source suppliers” if violations continue.

Records of violations are maintained and updated weekly online. Once a “source” has a violation, it stays on this list for 12 months.

So, how do you stay off of this list? Betsy Karle, of   the University of California Cooperative Extension, offers the following suggestions:

  • Follow label directions on all pharmaceuticals. Never use a drug off-label without a veterinarian’s prescription and adhere to withdrawal times.
  • Develop and follow treatment protocols with your veterinarian. Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure about a drug’s use.
  • Follow the recommendations on the “Cull Cow Transport Checklist” barn chart (your farm adviser has these if you need a copy).
  • Give auction yards and slaughter establishments accurate and complete information about the source of the animal.
  • Keep records (including ID #’s) of the animals you take to market.

More information.