On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara dropped a permanent injunction on Jerald Schumacher of Wyoming, N.Y., ordering him to stop offering animals for slaughter until he complies with federal law regarding drug and antibiotic withdrawal periods.
Schumacher, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration records, has repeatedly sold animals at the Pavilion (N.Y.) livestock auction to be slaughtered for human consumption over at least 10 years. According to the FDA complaint, a number of those animals tested positive for penicillin and sulfadimethoxine residues.
The agency also said he illegally gave the cows extra-label (higher than allowed) dosages. The farmer also violated federal law by failing to keep adequate records of which cows were medicated, according to the complaint.
The farm was most recently inspected between Oct. 6 and Oct. 21, 2009. Schumacher was given a written report detailing the violations. After FDA issued a warning letter in 2006 requiring him to abide by the law, violations continued.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has the responsibility for detecting drug residues in beef sold for human consumption, cited Schumacher six times in the past 10 years.
"The sale of animals for animal-derived human food products that contain illegal levels of animal drugs poses a significant public health risk," said Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "FDA will continue to take action against producers who violate federal laws intended to protect the health of the public and of livestock."
To read the warning letter sent to Schumacher by Otto Vitillo, FDA's New York district director on Dec. 8, 2006, click on: Warning Letters. It details repeated incidences of animals sold for slaughter with drug residues.