Potential occurrence of residues of veterinary pharmaceuticals in animal by-products

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


WFSR Report 2023.009 | 7 of 32 Summary Animal by-products may be used as ingredient in animal feed under certain conditions. Examples are fish meal or blood plasma. These by-products may originate from countries outside Europe in which legislation related to the use of veterinary drugs may be different from the EU. Consequently, other pharmaceutically active substances (PAS) may be allowed for use in food producing animals. A previous inventory identified a total of 104 substances for which maximum residue limits (MRLs) are specified in non-EU countries, while these are not authorized for use in food producing animals within the EU. The aim of the current study was to gain more insight into the potential use of these substances in a selection of non-EU countries by determining to what extent veterinary pharmaceutical products (VPPs) based on these substances are available. The study comprised Brazil, China and the United States (USA), which were selected for further research becaAe of their significant export volumes, while India and Indonesia were included because of the large number of substances of interest. For each of these countries, VPP databases were searched for available products and target animal species were retrieved as far as possible. The current research provided better insight in the availability of VPPs for the PAS of interest. For Brazil, China and USA, substantial numbers of products were found for the majority of the PAS, indicating towards actual use. For India, at least half of the PAS of interest was not represented by-products in the VPP data and for the remaining substances the distinction between animal and human medicine was often unclear. Overall the Indian resources contained an unrealistically low number of VPPs. For Indonesia VPPs were found only for 6 PAS, probably indicating obsolete MRL legislation. It was remarkable to note that, in particular for Brazil and Indonesia, the VPP databases contained a substantial number of products based on PAS lacking an EU-MRL, which were not identified in the initial study. This suggests considerable gaps in prevailing legislation and should be scrutinized in future Health and food audits and analysis (HFAA) audits. The results of this study provide a more realistic view on potential or (un)likely use of PAS, and consequently on potentially relevant residues. It allows for a more specific targeting of the monitoring of animal (by-)products, depending on the country of origin and the animal species. It should be noted, however, that the actual risk of residues occurring in animal by-products also depends on the pharmacokinetics of the PAS, which was not taken into account in this study. Finally, it is recommended to define tolerance levels for PAS in animal by-products to facilitate enforcement.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Food Safety Research
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameWFSR report


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential occurrence of residues of veterinary pharmaceuticals in animal by-products'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this