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FDA Updates Guidelines for Beef Cattle Implants, Impacting Label Claims
North Dakota Ag Connection - 05/26/2023

The recent guidance from the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has introduced new definitions for beef cattle production phases, leading to changes in label claims for existing and future drugs.

These modifications have an effect on implants used in the production of beef cattle because they are categorized as pharmaceuticals, according to Zac Carlson, a beef cattle specialist at North Dakota State University Extension.

The following are the updated production phases:

1.Calves that have been nursing their mothers for less than two months.

2.Calves older than two months who are still nursing their mothers.

3.Stockers are those who raise beef steers and heifers outdoors.

4.In a dry lot, beef steers and heifers are being raised.

5(a).Growing steers and heifers are fed exclusively to produce beef (feedlot cattle).

5(b).Raising steers and heifers for beef in a grow yard.

These production phases are essential, according to Dr. Gerald Stokka, a veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist at NDSU Extension, since they now enable beef cattle to receive one implant for each particular condition.

Currently, there are implants that have been authorised for usage throughout a production phase. However, the majority of implants don't mention reimplantation anywhere on their label.

Production phase 4 (raising beef steers/heifers in a dry lot), according to Karl Hoppe, an expert in livestock systems with NDSU Extension, is a brand-new phase. It includes weaned, developing beef steers as well as dairy and beef heifers kept in a dry lot and fed largely collected fodder, with possible supplements. There are no approved implants to be used at the moment because it is a fresh stage of production.

Production phase 5b involves weaned, growing beef steers and heifers confined in group pens and provided a moderate-to-high-roughage diet before entering the finishing phase. If cattle are implanted during production phase 5b, it will only be allowed during production phase 5a if it is approved for reimplantation.

Dr. Stokka emphasizes the need to review the labels of steroidal implants to ensure their compatibility with the specific production phase of the cattle intended for implantation.

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