To care for animal health, supportive measures to enable a healthy living of animals is important in several ways for our wellbeing: Farm animals deliver food (e.g. meat, eggs & milk), companion animals are often a part of our lifestyle and, wild life animals are important for the biological balance on our planet.
Companion animals e.g. pets live close together with us, protection of infections between humans and pets is getting more and more important, strong guidelines for vaccinations and therapy against typical diseases requires a lot of care and create demand for up to date medications, adaptation of traditional treatment under aspects of modern veterinary medicine.
As farm animals are (too) often being held in a big population on relatively small space, it is a priority to protect them from infections and diseases while at the same time productivity as well as quality of the food are important. Application of antibiotics for immunization, vaccination against known critical diseases and food additives with hormones for faster growth are common since many years.
On one site, veterinary pharmaceutical companies are working on new and efficient medications and vaccines, new food additives are under development – on the other side as human health is influenced by healthy and good quality of food, regulations concerning minimizing the total amount of pharmaceuticals in livestock are applied. These guidelines are constantly tightened and to guarantee the lowest possible or zero contamination of our food with such pharmaceutical products to reduce side-effects caused by residuals such as allergies or hypersensitivities.
Wildlife animals forced to adapt to changes in nature caused by humans: Industry with wastewater and pollution, monoculture in forests and on farmland and reduction of their habitat. This is not risk free as distances gets closer between farm and wildlife animals, diseases can easier transfer between species, parasites may find new hosts.
Testing of pharmaceuticals
Veterinary drugs are used to prevent and treat diseases in animals, they have become an integral part of animal husbandry. Strict guidelines for the use of pharmaceuticals apply to both, small animals and domestic pets as well as farm animals that are kept in large numbers.
Controlled usage of veterinary drugs is a prerequisite for the well-being of the animal and also for the quality and safety of human food.
Development process, release procedure and production have to follow same principles and guidelines as for human pharmaceuticals. There are several pharmaceuticals used for both purposes, while others just in use for animals. In general, analytical instrumentation, detection and methods are more or less similar, while dosages and effective concentration of a drug may differ.
Testing of animals / animal products
The main purpose of meat, milk and other animal products testing and inspection is to prevent and detect public health hazards such as foodborne pathogens or chemical and pharmaceutical residues such as veterinary drugs in meat and animal products. Meat inspection also plays an important part in the overall monitoring system of animal diseases and the verification of compliance with animal welfare standards.
All EU Member States are monitoring food of animal origin for the presence of residues and specific EU legislation outlines the laboratory analysis and correct interpretation of results. Shimadzu has prepared full method packages for the determination of veterinary drugs in animal products following the latest EU regulations.