It is an offence to allow milk containing residue to enter the food chain.  Should a supplier suspect that their milk contains antibiotic/inhibitors he should immediately bring a sample to the Society’s Laboratory for testing.  Only milk which passes this screening test will be collected, if this milk fails the milk must be disposed of by the supplier who will be compensated at the rate of 10c/litre.  This compensation will be paid a maximum of 2 occasions per year.

We encourage supplier to acquire home test kits for antibiotics as there will be an occasion where one is concerned about milk in the tank and not have adequate time to bring a sample to the laboratory for testing.

If a supplier’s milk on routine testing is found to be positive the following penalties apply:- 

First offence : 4c/litre

Second or subsequent failures within 3 years : 8c/litre

The minimum penalty that will be applied for an antibiotic failure will be the greater of the above or 4c/litre applied to 5% of the previous years deliveries of that farm.  The purpose of this is to help maintain vigilance at the start of the year and also at the back end of the year when supplies are low.

Subsequent to a supplier testing positive for antibiotic/inhibitors a second time in a month the milk will have to be tested and positively released for collection.  This is a condition set by law in regulation 25 of the Animal remedies and Residues Directive.  If this situation arises the Society will levy the offending farm with a charge of €50/day during the screening period.

Where a bulk load of milk or part there of is found to contain antibiotic/inhibitor residue this milk will be disposed of and the supplier or suppliers responsible for failure will be held liable for the dumping and relevant compensation costs.  Suppliers are advised to ensure that their farm insurance will provide cover in the event of such an occurrence.

The significance of antibiotic residue in milk is reflected in the above financial penalties and the controls that are applied.