In 2012, the USDA reported 360 violative drug residues in meat, representing 0.01% of the 3.1 million dairy cows slaughtered in the U.S. that year. That same year, 63 violative meat residues were found in beef cows, representing 0.002% of the 3.5 million beef cows slaughtered. Keep this in perspective. Meat supplied by dairy and beef cows (about 25% of the total U.S. beef supply) is essentially free of residues. However, compared to the beef industry, dairy is responsible for a five-fold higher incidence of violations.
In the June edition of the Wisconsin Agriculturist, UW-Extension Taylor County Agriculture Agent Sandy Stuttgen discusses the drug violations identified through the 2012 USDA study in Make meat, milk safe to consume.
For information regarding drug residue avoidance, please visit Drug Residue Avoidance Resources, UW-Milk Quality Antibiotic Drug Residue resources, or UW-Milk Quality’s video series on Making Responsible Choices About Antibiotic Use: Understanding the Role of the Veterinarian; Allowable Drug Usage in Dairy Cows; and Reducing the Risk of Residues in Milk and Meat.