Veterinarians can encourage their dairy producers to assess their risk for a violative antibiotic residue in milk and meat by using a new online tool from Pfizer Animal Health. The short, 10-question self-assessment takes only a few minutes to complete and is now live at AvoidResidues.com/Assessment.

“This assessment is designed to help producers evaluate their management practices that could lead to a higher risk of a residue violation,” says Mike Lormore, DVM, MS, MBA, Pfizer Animal Health. “We hope the individual results of the assessment will serve as a trigger for producers to have a serious conversation with a veterinarian about protocol design and records management, so they can ensure their risk of a violative drug residue is as low as possible.”

The assessment tool — created using data from actual FDA investigations into residue violations — asks questions about a producer’s on-farm animal health practices. A weighted scoring system assigns points to practices based on their likelihood of contributing to a higher risk of a residue violation. Once completed, the assessment rates the farm’s residue risk level as low, moderate or high, and results can be discussed with the herd’s veterinarian.

“While the U.S. agricultural industry produces the safest food in the world, there are still steps the dairy industry can take to reduce the rate of violative residues, particularly in cull dairy cattle,” Lormore says. “The online residue risk assessment is an educational tool for producers to use with their veterinarians to help ensure pharmaceuticals are being used properly while also protecting the food supply.”

To take the evaluation, log on to AvoidResidues.com, where visitors also will find thought-provoking, action-oriented videos about the causes of violative drug residues and tips for getting started on a drug residue prevention plan.