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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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U.S. Files Consent Decree in Animal Drug Residue Case

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter May/June 2005 Volume XX, No III

U.S. officials filed a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction in July against a California dairy producer for delivering animals for slaughter that had illegal levels of animal drug residues.

Under the terms of the Consent Decree, the defendant, Carl M. Sousa, an individual doing business as White River Dairy, Stratford, CA, must implement systems to avoid illegal residues in the cattle sent to slaughter for human food. U.S. authorities believe the defendant’s poor management of his operation led to the problems of drug residues.

The defendant is required to segregate, quarantine, and identify treated animals; identify each animal purchased or transported; maintain medication and treatment records; develop a system for drug inventory and accountability; and follow label directions for use of drugs, including their withdrawal times.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which tests animals for drug residues at slaughter, found nine illegal tissue residues in animals from the defendant’s dairy during the period February 1999 to December 2003. The illegal residues included antibiotics such as penicillin, gentamicin, tylosin, and sulfadimethoxine.

The inspectors reported the findings to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA’s San Francisco District Office conducted the investigation that led to the Decree. The Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Division of Compliance, FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Litigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California were responsible for processing and filing the case.

The Consent Decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.