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Environment
Environmental dangers of veterinary antiparasitic agents
  1. Keith Powell,
  2. Charles Foster and
  3. Simon Evans
  1. Honddu Veterinary Practice, Ffrwdgrech Estate, Brecon, Powys LD3 8LA
  2. Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HG
  3. Chief Executive, Wye and Usk Foundation, The Right Bank, The Square, Talgarth, Brecon LD3 0BW
  1. e-mail: keith{at}barefootvets.co.uk

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We read Josh Loeb’s excellent and timely piece ‘Are spot-ons damaging the environment?’ (VR, 27 October 2018, vol 183, p 490) with great interest. We have been concerned about veterinary pollution since reading the Bug Life report (referred to in Loeb’s article) and the Krefeld Entomological Society report which showed a 75 per cent decrease in insect populations in Germany;1 both reports were published about a year ago. Those reports made us look more closely at veterinary prescribing of neonicotinoids, which have been implicated in the declining populations of bees and other pollinators. We were shocked and surprised by what we found. There are 68 registered veterinary products containing neonicotinoids. Prominent examples used in veterinary practice include Advocate (Bayer), Advantage (Bayer), Capstar (Novartis Animal Health US)and Vectra 3D (Ceva).

Compounds that are highly toxic to invertebrates and whose activity lasts a long time are of course very effective and useful veterinary medicines. But those useful properties make them lethal and persistent environmental pollutants.

We then started to …

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