Guidelines offer information to assist veterinarians in proper drug use on beef and dairy operations.

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) has created Drug Use Guidelines for Bovine Practice to assist beef and dairy veterinarians in guiding appropriate, effective and legal drugs use on cattle operations.

Because of the complexity of the issue, a special AABP task force comprised of veterinary and pharmacology experts in the feedlot, cow-calf and dairy sectors has been crafting these guidelines over a three-year period. “This was the result of a very deliberate and careful process that took into account the great diversity of bovine practice types that our members find themselves engaged in,” explains Keith Sterner, DVM, Ionia, Mich., chairman of the task force. “Ensuring that these guidelines met our members’ and their clients’ needs, complying with new and changing regulations, and taking into consideration societal concerns and perceptions were the underlying principles that the task force concerned itself with in developing these guidelines.”

The guidelines are divided into sections including establishing and maintaining a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR); using scientific knowledge and veterinary training for disease management; providing oversight on drug use on cattle operations; prescribing or dispensing drugs in a legal and ethical manner; preventing violative residues; avoiding compounded and unapproved drugs; assuring responsible use of antimicrobials; and using analgesics to control pain when indicated. The guidelines also contain a list of prohibited/illegal drugs in cattle, the definition of an animal drug, and numerous industry and government resources for further information.

“AABP members and other beef and dairy veterinarians desiring to further the responsible, ethical and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals in their practice and on client operations will find that these guidelines are a sound foundation on which to base proper drug use,” Sterner says. “They are a straightforward resource for good decision making that is accountable, measurable and repeatable. They are based on sound scientific principle but they allow for the vastly varied geographic and types of livestock operations North America.”

The Drug Use Guidelines for Bovine Practice Guidelines from AABP can be found here and are available to members and the public. Other AABP guidelines can be found here.