BQA ADVISORY STATEMENT ON USE OF PNEUMATIC DARTS
The stated purpose of Beef Quality Assurance is to ensure a safe, wholesome, and healthy beef supply. The advent of pneumatic darts or other remote injection methods has prompted evaluation of how these techniques fit BQA principles. Currently there are no BQA guidelines for administration of injectable drugs/products by use of pneumatic darts or other similar methods designed to administer injectable products into cattle from a distance. The BQA Advisory Board notes “several challenges associated with use” of these technologies:
- accurate assessment of body weight for proper dosing is not possible;
- some appropriate dose volumes are not possible with current dart technology;
- product might be delivered in non-approved sites;
- bruising or collateral injection site lesions can occur;
- individual animal identification is more difficult, possibly leading to inaccurate withdrawal times or potential for illegal residues;
- potential of needles penetrating ligaments, joints, etc., reducing animal well-being and/or resulting in ineffective therapy;
- could result in extra-label use because of wrong method of administration;
- needles or entire darts might remain in animal tissue;
- darts could be misaimed, into gut, head, etc.;
- illegal compounding of drugs is probable;
- accidental injection into humans of some antibiotic compounds could cause death;
- the cylinder of the dart can be contaminated by bacteria, promoting antimicrobial resistance or infections and abscesses at the injection site.
Based on these challenges, the BQA Advisory Board currently states “until such time as critical data becomes available these methods do not meet BQA injectable product administration guidelines “.