contamination risk

29 June 2001

Antibiotic without

contamination risk

THROWING profits down the drain is something US dairymen can avoid by using an antibiotic which has no milk withdrawal. Its use also reduces consumer concerns about antibiotic residues in milk.

Pharmacias EXCENEL RTU Sterile Suspension (ceftiofur hydrochloride) has been on the US market since 1998 and is widely used as a treatment for bovine respiratory diseases and foot-rot.

Now being marketed in the UK, the broad-spectrum antibiotic is administered by sub-cutaneous injection for up to five days, is ready to use straight from the vial and has zero milk withdrawal.

According to US milk producer Tom Thompson, increased profitability is one benefit of the product. "All milk from treated animals is sold, not dumped, increasing revenue from milk returns." Pharmacia estimates that in the UK about 20% of the dairy herd are annually injected with antibiotics, excluding intramammaries, resulting in about £12m of dumped milk/year.

When used according to the label, there is no risk of contamination in the bulk tank or environment, as active ingredient breaks down almost immediately in the cow. Mr Thompson believes this gives peace of mind to producer and consumer.

The product fits well with dairy management systems, he adds. "Cows receiving treatment do not have to be separated from their production groups. This minimises the stress caused by moving them."

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