The process by which we deal with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease; and disorder and injury of stock within our farming systems. This includes the management and recording of relevant information to assist with minimising disease and injury, such as Animal Status Declaration when transporting deer off the farm
Standards need to be adhered to when it comes to administration of drugs with set withholding periods prior to harvest or slaughter.
Recording information about the health condition of your deer and treatments administered is important as it will assist you with day-to-day stock management decisions and enable you to fill in the Animal Status Declaration correctly when transporting deer off the farm.
If you note observations about the health or otherwise of your animals, you will be able to spot emerging trends and deal more effectively with the underlying problem.
When filling in the Animal Status Declaration, it is necessary to note treatments administered to the transported animals, so that veterinary medicine withholding periods are observed before the animals are slaughtered for entry to the food chain.
What are withholding periods?
A Withholding Period (WHP) is the minimum amount of time that has to pass between application of a veterinary medicine or compound (eg internal or external parasite treatment, antibiotic, vaccine, anaesthetic drug or chemical) and harvest (eg of velvet antler or milk) or slaughter.
All veterinary medicines or compound that are registered for use in or on animals must have the Withholding Period printed on the label and people using these medicines or compounds must comply with them or face severe penalties.
Why do we have them?
The Withholding Period is set for each veterinary medicine or compound to ensure that by the time the animal is killed, or the product is harvested, the amount of residual drug or chemical remaining in the produce is so low that it is very unlikely to pose any health risks from consumption of treated produce.
How are they set?
For each drug or compound a maximum residue limit ('MRL') is set by The Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) (previously The New Zealand Food Safety Authority) based on all available information.
Studies are conducted the determine how long it takes for each compound in each particular formulation to decline to this MRL after treatment by each route of administration for each livestock species in which the drug or compound will be used.
When a veterinary medicine is registered for use in New Zealand, this information is used to set the WHP for that particular formulation of drug or compound using the specified route of administration for the animal species in which it has been tested.
What are 'Default' withholding periods?
If a veterinary medicine or drug is used in an animal species for which it has not been registered then a Default WHP must be used. In the case of deer, the Default WHP is 91 days.
The exception to a Default WHP of 91 days is if there is specific approval for a lesser time. For example parasite treatment “Cydectin injection” is not licensed for use in deer. However, veterinarians can prescibe 'off-label' use of Cydectin Injection which allows for deer to be slaughtered 49 days after treatment. This exception only applies to drugs obtained from a vet with a vet prescription, so if you are contemplating administering a product with a 91 day WHP for deer fewer than 91 days before the intended slaughter date, you must obtain the product under veterinary prescription.
Withholding periods and Animal Status Declaration (ASD) forms
The Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form that accompanies all deer being sent for slaughter must accurately be completed with the following information:
- whether any animals are within the withholding period of treatment (if the withholding period for a particular treatment is not known, the default period of 91 days applies); and
- if so, the product name, method of treatment and dates applied.
(NB: these animals are NOT eligible for slaughter for human consumption until outside the withholding periods)
In order to fill out this form correctly, the producer responsible for veterinary medicine treatments needs to record on farm the dates and identities of all products administered.
To view the Agricultural ComApounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997, click here >>