These information sheets are provided for your interest. They should not replace veterinary advice from your veterinary surgeon.

Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided at the time of writing, your specific circumstances must be discussed before advice can be given.

Statutory Withdrawal Periods

Medicines which are not licensed for use in a particular species may be used in that species at the discretion of a veterinarian, provided a suitable withdrawal period before human consumption is applied.

The legal minimum withdrawal period for drugs used 'off licence' is as follows:

  • Meat from mammals and poultry (including offal): 28 days
  • Milk: 7 days
  • Eggs: 7 days
  • Meat from fish: 500 degree days

In situations where milk is being returned to the bulk tank, it is always advised to test the individual cow's milk with a Delvotest to avoid bulk tank residue failure. Delvotest kits and consumables are available from your farm animal vet. It should be remembered that 'off licence' use of drugs includes situations where the specific licence use is breached, for example, combination therapy or alteration of the recommended dosage interval. In these situations, at least the statutory minimum withdrawal period will be applied by the prescribing vet.