It just can’t be said too often: Maintaining consumer confidence must remain a top priority for the U.S. read meat industry. That’s why it is so important for beef producers and feeders to properly use animal health products, such as antibiotics and supplements.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently issued a notice to veterinarians in federally inspected plants on conditions requiring a test for illegal residues in carcasses. A recent government study indicates this new direction for sampling may result in a higher rate of detected violations, especially in animals considered “high risk,” such as cull cows and sick-pen animals. By law, positive tests must be reported to the government for investigation and possible enforcement action.

Information about proper use and withdrawal of animal health products is available through the Beef Quality Assurance program. For more information, contact Gary Cowman of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at (303) 694-0305.