The European Feed Safety Authority (EFSA) Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit has issued a report on the occurrence of veterinary drugs residues in animals and animal products in Europe. The report is based on data for 2009 provided by the EU Member States to the European Commission.
Altogether, there were 764,736 samples reported in the framework of the 2009 residue monitoring in the EU. A total of 484,087 samples (445,968 targeted samples, 38,119 suspect samples) were reported under the Council Directive 96/23/EC.
From the total of collected targeted samples, 40.9 % were analysed for substances having anabolic effect and prohibited substances (group A) and 63.1 % for veterinary drugs and contaminants (group B).
There were 1,406 non-compliant samples (0.32 %) (1,493 non-compliant results) out of the 445,968 targeted samples. This situation was similar to the one in 2008 when 0.34 % of the targeted samples were non-compliant.
The percentage of non-compliant samples calculated from the total number of samples analysed for substances in that category was: 0.18 % for substances having anabolic effect and prohibited substances (A), 0.21 % for antibacterials (B1), 0.30 % for “other veterinary drugs” (B2), and 1.08 % for “other substances and environmental contaminants” (B3).
Of all the targeted samples analysed for the category “hormones” in all animal/product categories, 0.26 % were non-compliant. As in 2008, there were no non-compliant samples for stilbenes and derivatives (A1).
For antithyroid agents (A2), there were 0.46 % non-compliant samples, all for thiouracil, but most likely caused by feeding cruciferous plants. In the group of steroids (A3), which includes some results on corticosteroids, there have been 0.39 % non-compliant samples in all animal and product categories.
The non-compliant samples were found in bovines (0.34 %), pigs (0.30 %), sheep and goats (3.65 %), horses (1.27 %), poultry (0.05 %), and aquaculture (0.46 %).
The most frequent identified anabolic steroids were alpha-boldenone (n = 65), nandrolone (64), and epinandrolone (17). However, several Member States claimed that residues of boldenone-alpha and epinandrolone (19-norepitestosterone) were more likely of endogenous nature.
The majority of incidences of non-compliance for corticosteroids were reported in bovines (48). Substances identified were dexamethasone (43), prednisolone (16), and prednisone (5).
In the group of resorcylic acid lactones (A4), 0.17 % of the samples were non-compliant for zearanol and taleranol. For beta-agonists (A5), only two non-compliant samples were detected in 2009 (0.01 %).
For prohibited substances (A6), 0.07 % of the samples were found to be non-compliant. Substances identified were chloramphenicol (25), nitrofurans (25) and nitroimidazoles (9).
For antibacterials (B1), 0.21 % of the samples analysed under Directive 96/23 were non-compliant. Additionally, Germany reported non-compliant results from applying inhibitor tests. The highest frequencies of non-compliant samples for antibacterials were found in honey (0.98 %), rabbit meat (0.63 %), and aquaculture (0.48 %).
Other veterinary drugs
There were 0.26 % non-compliant samples for substances in the category “other veterinary drugs” (B2). A relatively high proportion of non-compliant samples was found for anticoccidials (B2b): 2.05 % in poultry, 1.19 % in eggs, 4.44 % in rabbits, and 0.54 % in farmed game. Non-compliances for anthelmintics (B2a) were reported in bovines (0.14 %), pigs (0.1 %), sheep and goats (0.28 %), aquaculture (0.39 %), and milk (0.3 %).
For carbamates and pyrethroids (B2c), there was only one non-compliant sample in pigs, and one in wild game. No non-compliant sample was reported for sedatives (B2d).
For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (B2e) there were non-compliant samples in bovines (0.13 %), sheep and goats (0.2 %), horses (0.6 %), poultry (0.46 %), milk (0.03 %), and rabbits (1.39 %).
Non-compliant samples for “other pharmacologically active substances” (B2f) were reported in bovines (0.37 %), poultry (0.2 %), and pigs (0.09 %).
There were 1.08 % non-compliant samples in the group of “other substances and environmental contaminants (B3)”. The highest percentage of non-compliant samples in almost all species was found for chemical elements (B3c) (2.25 %).
Cadmium, lead, and mercury were the most frequently reported elements. Instances of non-compliance for organochlorine compounds (B3a) and organophosphorus compounds (B3b) were much lower: 0.19 % and 0.04 %, respectively.
For mycotoxins (B3d), nine non-compliant samples for ochratoxin A in pigs, one for aflatoxin B1 in sheep and goats, and five for aflatoxin M1 in milk were reported.
Dyes (B3e) were reported in aquaculture (1.6 %). Substances found were malachite green and leuco-malachite-green.
The residue situation in 2009 was similar to the two previous years for all substance groups. However, because the sampling plan and the spectrum of analysed substances were not necessarily the same over the three years, such comparisons should be regarded as having a high degree of uncertainty.