Understanding Drug Use Regulations in Food-producing Animals

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Quality Assurance Programs (i.e. the Beef Quality Assurance [BQA] Certification Program) are rooted in livestock producers' belief in doing the right thing.The judicious use of pharmaceutical products is essential to producing safe, high quality food as well as maintaining animal health. Misuse of animal pharmaceutical products may break state and/or federal laws and threaten their future availability. With FDA rules continuing to be modified, now is a good time to review old regulations to make sure we are doing what’s right and what’s legal.

Just like a physician needs a relationship to prescribe medications for people, the same is true for veterinarians.The veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is essential for veterinarians to not only do what is medically and ethically right for animal health, but also to protect their license. The VCPR is dictated by both federal and state law (Louisiana Veterinary Practice Act). As responsibility for pharmaceutical use oversight shifts more towards veterinarians, so does the liability. Cooperation is essential in doing what’s right.

The attached summary shows that the legalities are complicated, confusing, and continually changing. Producers should talk to your veterinarian before administering any pharmaceutical product to any animal that is considered a food product.

5/7/2020 7:42:07 PM
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