Best Practice: Responsible Drug Use

1. The dairy should have a documented Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).

(download Best Practice: Responsible Drug Use)

The Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship states that the veterinarian on record takes responsibility for making clinical judgements regarding the health of animals on the farm and the need for medical treatment. Additionally, the producer agrees to follow the veterinarian’s instructions regarding treatment. An ideal VCPR should be written, signed and dated by both the producer and their veterinarian. If multiple veterinarians are used for different areas of management, a separate VCPR should delineate the role of each veterinarian on file. All parties should review and sign an agreement yearly.


VCPR Forms




Herd Basic Info. VCPR form

Herd Basic Info VCPR.docx

Mastitis & Udder Health

Mastitis VCPR.docx

Reproductive Health

Repro VCPR.docx

Youngstock Data Collection Form

Youngstock Form.docx

2. Drug use for commonly treated diseases should be detailed in written treatment protocols.

Treatment protocols support consistent drug administration practices and allow for better evaluation of treatment efficacy. Protocols should be written, accessible to those performing treatments, and reviewed yearly by management and the herd veterinarian.


Generic Treatment Protocol Template

template tx protocol.docx

Foot Rot Treatment Protocol Template

Footrot Treatment protocol.docx

3. Specific personnel who are authorized to perform treatments should be trained in protocol use and proper drug administration techniques.

All employees who perform treatments should receive training on utilizing treatment protocols, proper drug administration (including intramammary tubes), and treatment record keeping. Training should be reviewed yearly and documented in an employee file.


4. Drugs should be used following the manufacturer's label instructions, or following the instructions provided by a veterinarian.

Labeling requirements for drugs on dairies

Labeling Requirements for drugs.pdf

Additional Resources

See also the Additional Resources under Residue Avoidance.