Notification to the veterinarian of violative residues in foods of animal origin

A safe, abundant, and wholesome food supply derived from animals raised in an environment that enhances animal health and wellbeing and public health is critically important. The AVMA recognizes that the use of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals in food animals is necessary to treat, prevent, and control disease, to improve animal well-being, and to present healthy and safe animals for market. The AVMA supports the tolerances for residues for all FDA-CVM-approved food animal pharmaceuticals.

Preventing residues of drugs, pesticides, and environmental contaminants (violative residues) in food is a basic tenet of responsible animal care and safe food production. Veterinarians have an essential role in preventing such violations and ensuring the appropriate and judicious use of pharmaceuticals on food animal operations. Therefore, the AVMA advocates for:

  1. Judicious use of all pharmaceuticals in food animals occurring under guidance provided by the veterinarian within a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).
  2. Veterinary oversight of drug use on farms to ensure compliance, judicious use, and residue prevention programs are followed. This veterinary oversight should occur for all drugs used on the farm regardless of the distribution channel or marketing status of the drug.
  3. Continuing support of the FDA-CVM in establishing tolerances for such new animal drugs and the USDA-FSIS in instituting testing programs for the detection of violative residues of these new compounds to protect public health.
  4. Emphasizing the essential role that the veterinarian plays in responsible drug use in food animals and in the prevention of violative residues in foods of animal origin. In this role, it is critical that the veterinarian be involved very early in addressing any violative residue attributed to their producers. The AVMA encourages expedient agency coordination so that a veterinarian can be notified as soon as possible regarding their potential involvement in a violation. Veterinarians should strongly encourage any client with whom they have a VCPR to:
    1. Have and adhere to a written residue prevention plan.
    2. Report any residue promptly to the veterinarian for investigation.
    3. Address the residue in a proactive manner including a written plan to prevent future residues.