Veterinary drug residues: non-compliance remains low

Monitoring data from 2016 for a range of veterinary medicines, unauthorised substances and contaminants found in animals and animal-derived food suggest high rates of compliance.

The percentage of non-compliance in targeted samples – i.e. samples taken to detect illegal use or check non-compliance with the maximum levels – was 0.31%, which is within the range of 0.25%-0.37% reported over the previous nine years.

Non-compliance for chemical contaminants such as metals was higher than for other groups of substances. Non-compliance for resorcylic acid lactones (hormonally active compounds that can be man-made or produced by fungi), mycotoxins (toxins from fungi) and anti-thyroid agents all decreased in 2016.

Also, the highest and lowest frequencies of non-compliant samples for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibacterials, respectively, were reported in 2016 compared to previous years.

The EU monitoring of these substances helps to protect consumers and animals by ensuring a high degree of compliance with EU regulations. Overall, 710,000 samples were reported in 2016 from 27 of the 28 EU Member States.

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