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NMPF Requests Extension on Animal Antibiotics Withdrawal Periods Docket

September 4, 2019

NMPF has requested an extension of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration notice in the Federal Register published August 9 requesting public comment on transit times to slaughterhouses, milking frequency and interpretation of withdrawal periods. NMPF’s goal is to ensure that procedures for assigning withdrawal periods for animal drugs intended for use in food-producing animals adequately consider current industry practices.

Upon reviewing the notice, NMPF has identified key issues that require more detailed stakeholder input than the current 60-day notice provides. Issues include:

  • Industry practices regarding how long it takes to transport certain food producing animals from production facilities to slaughter facilities;
  • How frequently dairy animals are milked; and
  • How end users interpret animal drug labeling that states a drug has a “zero-day withdrawal period” or “zero-day milk discard time.” Such phrases indicate that an animal’s meat or milk is allowed to enter the food chain regardless of how much time has passed since the animal was last given the drug.

The docket can be found here.

If granted, NMPF’s 90-day extension request would allow adequate time to reach out to experts including veterinarians, pharmaceutical companies and others involved in residue testing. More time would provide opportunities to conduct more thorough analysis, resulting in stronger, science-based comments.

NMPF is pleased that the FDA opened this docket and believes it will promote continued judicious and responsible use of antimicrobial drugs.