As a dairy producer, the power to prevent violative milk or meat residues is in your hands. It takes preparation, planning and teamwork to create an effective residue avoidance plan. It starts with a strong partnership with your veterinarian.

“Your veterinarian is the expert in the proper use of animal health products to prevent residues, as well as to prevent and treat disease,” explained Richard Wallace, DVM, senior veterinarian, Dairy Technical Services, Zoetis. “As your most trusted advisor on the topic, your veterinarian knows your operation, your herd and the individual animals, and can help you create treatment protocols that are tailored to your animals and operation.”

The partnership you develop with your veterinarian is called a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, or VCPR. This means your veterinarian examines animals in person and maintains a relationship with your operation through regular visits and communications. This relationship is what allows a veterinarian to diagnose and treat your animals.

Establishing and maintaining a VCPR requires commitment from the producer and the veterinarian. Producers are responsible for:

  • Allowing the veterinarian to take responsibility for making health judgments about your animals
  • Being open to consultation and advice from your veterinarian
  • Making sure your employees and you comply with the veterinarian’s instructions for treatment
  • Keeping written records of all treatments

For their part, veterinarians are responsible for:

  • Providing your animal with medical care
  • Making clinical animal health judgments
  • Developing a treatment recordkeeping system
  • Advising you about the benefits and risks of different treatment options
  • Providing oversight of treatment, compliance and outcome
  • Helping you find emergency care for your animal, if needed

Why is establishing and maintaining a valid VCPR so important? It allows your veterinarian to provide your animals with the best possible medical care. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics requires a valid VCPR to be in place for a veterinarian to prescribe medications or treat an animal. It also is required by law in many states.

Learn more about the benefits of a VCPR partnership and how to better maintain a valid VCPR with your veterinarian at the American Veterinary Medical Association website or from Zoetis at