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Veterinary Drug Residues and Types
Veterinary drug residues refer to the parent compound of the veterinary drug contained in any edible part of the animal product and its metabolites, as well as impurities associated with veterinary drugs. According to associated published data, the main types of veterinary drug residues in China are quinolones, chloramphenicols, nitrofurans, nitroimidazoles, etc. In the EU, the main types are antibacterial drugs, sulfonamides and quinolones.
Figure 1. Veterinary drugs residues in chickens
Reasons for Excessive Veterinary Drugs
Veterinary drug residues are caused by three reasons. The first one, inappropriate medication, such as in the dose of the drug, the route of administration and the selection of animals that meet the requirements of the drug. The second, the use of illicit drugs to promote the growth of animals. The last one, the difference in animal metabolism. At present, the majority of farmers know little about drugs and the related technology of drug use, which probably results in the excessive drug residues in animal products.
The Harm of Excessive Drug Residues in Meat
Drug residues cannot be felt, so they are easily ignored. The metabolic pathways of drugs are diverse, but most drugs are metabolized by the liver. These residual drugs are gradually accumulated in the human body through the animal products, thereby causing harm to the human body. The medical profession has confirmed that the abuse and residue of antibiotics, hormones and other synthetic drugs in meat often bring about common diseases such as cancer, malformations, juvenile precocious puberty, and cardiovascular diseases in elderly people.
Regulation for Veterinary Drug Residues in Meat
European standards for veterinary drug residues are 500 g/d for livestock, 300 g/d for fish, and 300 g/d for eggs. And drugs that are prohibited from residues in meat include: aristolochia plants and their preparations, chloramphenicol, chloroform, chlorpromazine, colchicine, dapsone, dimetridazole, metronidazole, nitrofuran, and nitroxime oxazole.
Other EU Requirements for Animal Derived Foods
The obligations of animal-derived food suppliers is to use drugs according to drug requirements. The duties of the official regulatory authorities: (1) Inspection of the production, storage, transportation, distribution and use of pharmaceuticals; (2) Inspection of feed production and distribution; (3) Inspection without prior notice; (4) In case of its suspected illegal use of medicine, the farm shall be inspected, with assistance provided by the farm and the veterinarian; (5) The feed, drinking water and animals in the breeding ground shall be sampled.
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