SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) Residue Task Force has received the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) 2012 President’s Award.

The AVMA today honored some of the nation’s top veterinarians during an awards ceremony at the association’s Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif.  Each recipient has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of both animals and people around the country and the globe. These individuals represent the very best in all areas of veterinary medicine, from education and public service to research and private practice.

The 2012 AVMA President’s Award recognizes individuals and groups inside and outside veterinary medicine who have made a positive impact on animal, human or public health, veterinary organizations and the profession.

In 2009, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) learned Wisconsin was leading the nation in drug tissue residues in dairy beef. From there, a taskforce of WVMA members was formed to learn more and collect information. Although some industry stakeholders called for increased regulation, the WVMA felt a non-regulatory solution was more appropriate. Leading on this issue and seeing its potential, WVMA asked the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin to join in on educational outreach for both producers and veterinarians on Wisconsin’s top ranking in residues. In its third phase, this educational outreach has developed into the WVMA Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) for Proper Drug Use, a six-step plan addressing not only food safety, but long-term proper drug use on dairies and which identifies risks and institutes control methods.

The WVMA’s HACCP For Proper Drug Use six steps are:

• Veterinarian/Client/Patient Relationship (VCPR) –identifying the VCPR team

• Drug List – finding all drugs used and how they are used

• Protocols – developing protocols based on the farm and skill sets of employees

• SOPs – developing SOPs based on the farm and skill sets of employees

• Records – defining what needs to be recorded

• Oversight – veterinary oversight to evaluate drug use, protocol/SOPs drift, and management/economic information.

This process is an effective and achievable way to address food safety and ultimately proper drug use.

The Wisconsin VMA’s efforts have changed minds and behaviors and, as a result, have seen a significant reduction in dairy tissue residues.

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