Animal & Veterinary
Van Leeuwens Violate Consent Decree
December 19, 1996
On November 12, 1996 in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, a Stipulation and Order was signed by the judge and filed finding defendants Arie, Clara, Arnold, Barry, and Jon Van Leeuwen had violated a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction entered by the court on October 4, 1995, and were, therefore, liable for Civil Contempt.
The Van Leeuwens owned and operated two dairies in Modesto, California. The original injunction action against the Van Leeuwen Dairy was based on 16 reports of illegal drug residues in cull dairy cows offered for slaughter during the period from January 22, 1991 through November 17, 1994. The illegal residues included the following drugs: streptomycin, oxytetracycline, penicillin, sulfamethazine, tetracycline, sulfathiazole, gentamicin, erythromycin, and chlortetracycline. At that time the Consent Decree permanently restrained and enjoined Arie C. and Clara G. Van Leeuwen from administering to cattle any article of new animal drug and introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce any article of food consisting of cattle or their edible tissues unless and until the defendants had established and implemented systems to control the use and administration of drugs to their cattle to avoid illegal drug residues, including an identification system, a written recordkeeping system, a drug inventory and accountability system, another system which ensures that each animal had been held for the proper withdrawal period, and a quarantine or segregation system for medicated animals.
After the Consent Decree was entered, FDA held a meeting with the Van Leeuwens and their attorney to discuss the requirements of the Consent Decree and conducted four inspections where the requirements were thoroughly explained to the owners. In spite of these efforts, the Van Leeuwens had failed to develop and implement adequate systems and continued to sell animals for slaughter contrary to the requirements of the Consent Decree. The Van Leeuwens failed to take the injunction seriously and continued to violate the law while making promises of compliance.
Under the Stipulation and Order, the defendants were ordered to comply with the Injunction at both dairies and to permanently identify all cattle with an ear tag and provide FDA with a list of ear tag numbers each month. The defendants will be fined $100 per day until they have demonstrated compliance with the injunction, except that fine will be purged
if they demonstrate compliance within 60 days of the Order. Subsequent violations of the injunction will result in a sanction of $1,000 for each animal sold in violation of the injunction and $1,000 for any other violation of the injunction. Defendants were also ordered to pay $2,500 for costs incurred by the Government in monitoring compliance with the injunction to date.