Animal Industry News Update March 2011 Vol 12; Issue 1

Theresia Lavergne, Page, Timothy G., Hutchison, Charles F., Heidorn, Neely, Navarre, Christine B.  |  4/1/2011 8:35:21 PM

Use of Pharmaceuticals in Food-Producing Animals

all livestock

What is a food animal?

Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and rabbits are all considered food animals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even if the owner of an animal considers a food animal as a pet, legally it is a food animal and potential food product. Food safety has to be assured with any drug use in food animals, so pharmaceutical use laws for food animals are very strict. Before giving any pharmaceutical product to a food animal, it is best to consult a veterinarian. Misuse of animal pharmaceutical products may break state and/or federal laws and may threaten their future availability.

Types of drugs:

  • Prescription: Veterinary prescription drugs are labeled for use only by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Most states (including Louisiana) require that veterinary prescription drugs be used or prescribed only within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).
  • Over-the-Counter: Products available for purchase by laypersons that do not require a prescription.
  • Veterinarian/Client/Patient Relationship
    A VCPR exists when all of the following conditions have been met:
  • The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the animal(s) and the need for medical treatment, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarian's instructions.
  • The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal(s). This means that the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal(s) by virtue of an examination of the animal(s) or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal(s) are kept.
  • The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation, or has arranged for emergency coverage, in the event of adverse reactions or failure of the treatment regimen.

Types of drug use:

  • Label use: The drug is used exactly according to the label, including animal species, age, class (beef vs. dairy, for example), dose, frequency of administration, duration of administration and route of administration. Label withdrawal time for meat, milk, eggs, etc. must be followed. Over-the-counter drugs can be used by animal owners as long as they are used according to the label. Prescription drugs require a veterinarian to write a prescription. This requires a veterinary-client patient relationship (VCPR-see above).
  • Extra-label use: Extra-label drug use [ELDU] occurs when the drug’s actual or intended use is in a manner not in accordance with the approved labeling.

For instance, ELDU occurs when administration is:

  • For a species not listed on the label.
  • For an indication, disease or other condition, not on the label.
  • Is at a dosage level or frequency not on the label.
  • By a route of administration not on the label.

Conditions for ELDU:

  • Under no circumstances can a non-veterinarian order the extra-label use of a drug in animals.
  • Veterinarians are permitted to order the extra-label use of drugs but only under very strict rules.

ELDU must take place within the confines of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

ELDU is not an option where the drug use is to enhance production. The health or life of the animal must be threatened for ELDU.

  • ELDU in animal feed is not permitted under any circumstances, not even by veterinarians.
  • There is a list of drugs that are prohibited from use in food animals, even by veterinarians and even in cases where the health or life of the animal is threatened.

Livestock Producer Do’s and Don’ts of Prudent Drug Use:

  • Have a solid herd health program to decrease the need for drugs.
  • Only use drugs, vaccines, feed medications, etc. according to the label.
  • Make sure animals have identification.
  • Keep records of which medications are used on which animals, administration date(s), dose, injection site(s) and outcomes of treatment.
  • Follow meat and milk withdrawal times.
  • Avoid inappropriate drug use.

Using antimicrobials or other drugs when not indicated.

Using the wrong drug.

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Swine Herd Health Program for Show-pig Breeders


Most Louisiana show-pig breeders are beginning to breed their sows to produce pigs for next year’s shows. Show-pig breeders spend a lot of money on show-pig semen. This is one of highest costs in any quality show-pig operation. In order to justify that much investment in show-pig semen, producers must have a quality herd health program to help increase conception and farrowing rates. Producers should have a veterinary/client relationship. If they do not, they need to develop one. There is nothing better than having a qualified veterinarian available when a producer has problems or needs advice. Below is a very high-quality herd health program that many quality show-pig breeders use in their operations. The same herd health program will not work for everyone, but this one is an excellent place to start. This health program has suggestions for sows, gilts and baby pigs. If you are going to spend an exorbitant amount of money on semen, you might as well spend a little on a quality herd health program.


Vaccine or Medication

Purpose or Time

Sows and Gilts


Quarterly/every 3 months

Sows - PreBreed


At least 2 wks before breeding



2 Vac/2 weeks apart/2 weeks before breeding

Gilts – PreBreed

Ivomec 1%

PreBreed Worm and Mange control

Sows and Gilts

E. coli/Past/Bord/Ery

Approx. 5 and 2 weeks pre-farrow

Sows and Gilts

Ivomec 1%

Mange/Worms 5-10 days before farrowing


IPD – Iron/Pen/Draxxin

Under 24 hours/Again at 7-10 days

Pigs at weaning

Ivomec 0.27%




At 4 and 6 weeks of age


Joint Vaccine – Myco Hyorhinis/Myco hyosynoviae/Strep/Parasuis

At 6 and 8 weeks of age

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Updates and New Recommendations for Equine Deworming


Deworming is an essential component of successfully managing your horse’s health and should be tailored for each animal’s specific needs. More than 150 different parasites can potentially infect your horse; however, in North America we are mainly concerned about roundworms (called ascarids), large and small strongyles and tapeworms. Threadworms are not typically included in this list because they usually occur temporarily in foals. Other common parasites of horses include pinworms and bots. The products you choose to deworm your horse and the frequency in which you use them should be partly dependent upon many factors: the age and class of horse you have, geographic region, if the horse is pastured or stalled (and if it is on pasture, how many horses share the same space), climate and the individual needs of your horse.

Special consideration should be given to horses living in the South. Here in Louisiana, horses are at risk for increased parasite loads in the fall and in early spring when conditions are wet and warm. However, Louisiana horses are less susceptible to parasite transmission during the summer months due to extremely hot conditions.

Currently, veterinarians are recommending an updated deworming schedule, which relies on determining the number of parasites present in a fecal sample, commonly referred to as “parasite load.” Once the parasite load of your horse is classified as low, moderate or high, your veterinarian will be able to help you determine the best treatment schedule. It is now thought that traditional methods of bimonthly rotational deworming are no longer effective due to increasing anthelmentic resistance. It also is recommended that other preventative measures are put into place to reduce your horse’s exposure to environmental contamination.

Prevention of environmental contamination is essential to reduce the parasitic load. This method includes proper care of paddocks, pastures and fields and is often overlooked. To ensure the maximum effectiveness of any deworming program, the following are recommended: regular removal and disposal of manure at least twice a week, harrowing pastures to break up manure piles and expose the eggs and larvae to the elements, ussing rotational grazing by moving horses between pastures to reduce parasite ingestion, reducing the number of horses per acre, which translates to decreased fecal contamination, and elevating feed off the ground to prevent further parasite ingestion.

While no deworming program will be suitable for every horse, the following recommendations should be effective for the average adult horse living in Louisiana with a low to moderate parasite load.

Month                             Product

February/March             Ivermectin

May/June                       Ivermectin/Proziquantil

November/December     Moxidectin/Proziquantil

If you have any questions regarding specific recommendations for your horse, please contact your local veterinarian.

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New USDA Standards to Reduce Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry


On March 16, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced revised and new standards to reduce the incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in chickens and turkeys. The FSIS estimates that about 25,000 foodborne illnesses will be prevented under the new Campylobactor and revised Salmonella standards.

These standards were developed based on nationwide studies measuring the baseline incidence of these two foodborne pathogens. The new standard for Salmonella is that no more than 7.5 percent of chicken carcasses sampled can be positive for Salmonella. The new standard for Campylobacter is that no more than 10.4 percent of raw product should have Campylobacter jejuni, C. lari, and/or C. coli on it. This is the first FSIS standard adopted for Campylobacter. The standards go into effect in July 2011.

The good news is that the poultry industry continuously makes improvements in its food safety standards and already meets these new standards. (USDA-FSIS, March 16, 2011)

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"An Egg a Day" is Further Justified


USDA’s Agriculture Research Service has released new data proving that eggs are even lower in cholesterol than previously reported. Random samples of regular large eggs from 12 locations in the United States were analyzed for nutrients. The eggs analyzed were 14% lower in cholesterol (185 mg) than eggs analyzed in 2002. Also, vitamin D (41 IU) increased 64% in the eggs sampled. The reduced cholesterol and increased vitamin D in eggs may be attributable to the high-quality, nutritionally balanced diets fed to laying hens. (Poultry Times, March 14, 2011)

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