The efficacy of an injectable formulation of florfenicol (300 mg/mL) as metaphylactic control of naturally occurring bovine respiratory disease (BRD) was evaluated in two double-blind randomly controlled field studies on two Dutch veal calf herds (A and B). Cattle aged not older than 3 months and in the direct presence of calves with clinical respiratory disease were randomly allocated to treatment with 40 mg/kg florfenicol subcutaneously (s.c.) a positive control treatment (12.5 mg/kg tilmicosin p.o. twice daily for five consecutive days in herd A, and 12.5 mg/kg doxycycline p.o. twice daily for five consecutive days in herd B), or a negative control (one placebo saline s.c. administration on D0). The predominant respiratory pathogens present in pretreatment respiratory samples from affected animals were Mycoplasma bovis and Pasteurella multocida in outbreaks A and B, respectively. Metaphylactic administration of florfenicol resulted in a statistically significant weight gain, decreased rectal temperature for five consecutive days after treatment and decreased metaphylactic failure percentages compared with both positive and negative control groups. In summary, these studies demonstrated that a single s.c. injection of florfenicol is effective and practical for control of the bacterial component of BRD in veal calves.