Registration of veterinary medical products includes the provision that field tests may be required to assess potential nontarget effects associated with the excretion of product residues in dung of treated livestock (phase II, tier B testing). However, regulatory agencies provide no guidance on the format of these tests. In the present study, the authors report on the development of a standardized field test method designed to serve as a tier B test. Dung was collected from cattle before and up to 2 mo after treatment with a topical application of a test compound (ivermectin). Pats formed of dung from the different treatments were placed concurrently in the field to be colonized by insects. The abundance, richness, and diversity of insects developing from egg to adult in these pats were compared across treatments using analysis of variance tests. Regression analyses were used to regress abundance, richness, and diversity against residue concentrations in each treatment. Results of the regression were used to estimate mean lethal concentration (LC50) values. The robustness of the method and the repeatability of its findings were assessed concurrently in 4 countries (Canada, France, Switzerland, and The Netherlands) in climatically diverse ecoregions. Results were generally consistent across countries, and support the method's formal adoption by the European Union to assess the effects of veterinary medical product residues on the composition and diversity of insects in dung of treated livestock.
- Dung beetles