Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
versão On-line ISSN 2219-0635
versão impressa ISSN 0030-2465
MITEMA, E.S.. Improved management of drugs, hormones and pesticides in Africa. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2009, vol.76, n.1, pp.155-159. ISSN 2219-0635.
Drugs, hormones and pesticides are chemical compounds used for alleviation of various diseases in animals. There are many classes of drugs which have been used and in the case of natural steroid hormones these have been used to increase mass gain by stimulating protein anabolism. Pesticides have been used for many years in the control of ectoparasites which transmit important human and livestock diseases. The purpose of the present article is to review procedures for management of veterinary products to facilitate national and international trade. These compounds and/or their metabolites have the potential to cause undesirable health effects to either target animals or consumers. Most African countries do not have competent authorities to conduct risk analysis for veterinary drug and pesticide residues in edible tissues. Because of the possible undesirable health effects from residues of veterinary compounds, the FAO/WHO established expert groups to establish acceptable daily intake and maximum residue levels (MRLs) for each drug or pesticide. In the case of natural steroids like oestradiol, progesterone and testosterone implants, no withdrawal period is required since there is no risk to the consumer. Bulls can have levels of testosterone ranging from 535-10 950 pg/g, heifers 92-250 and treated steers 100 pg/g, respectively. Data to enable approval of drugs and pesticides is to a large extent similar and include toxicity studies, reproductive studies, stability studies, safety, efficacy, tissue residue depletion studies and environmental impact. Good practice in the use of acaricides as indicated on the label is inevitable so that residue levels of these compounds remain below the specified MRL. Enactment and enforcement of legislations by various countries for the control of registration, sale, distribution and usage of ethical products should be enforced including use of prescriptions by veterinarians. Good practice in the use of veterinary drugs is the recommended or authorized usage of drugs. It should be enforced to ensure safe animal products for human consumption and to facilitate regional or international trade. In conclusion, for efficient production of animal protein from food producing animals all veterinary products should be approved prior to use, residue monitoring programs should be implemented; veterinarians and producers must use these compounds prudently using recommended good practices.