John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Non‐target effects of ivermectin residues on earthworms and springtails dwelling beneath dung of treated cattle in four countries

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The authorization of veterinary medicinal products (VMP) requires that they be assessed for non‐target effects in the environment. Numerous field studies have assessed these effects on dung organisms. However, few studies have examined effects on soil‐dwelling organisms, which might be exposed to VMP residues released during dung degradation. We compared the abundance of earthworms and springtails in soil beneath dung from untreated cattle and from cattle treated 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 d previously with ivermectin. Study sites were located in different ecoregions in Switzerland (Continental), The Netherlands (Atlantic), France (Mediterranean), and Canada (Northern Mixed Grassland). Samples were collected using standard methods from one to twelve months after pat deposition. Ivermectin concentrations in soil beneath dung pats ranged from 0.02 (3 months) to typically less than 0.006 (5‐7 months) mg/kg dry weight. Earthworms were abundant and species‐rich at the Swiss and Dutch sites, less common with fewer species at the French site, and essentially absent at the Canadian site. Diverse but highly variable communities of springtails were present at all sites. Overall results showed little effect of residues on either earthworms or springtails. We recommend that inclusion of soil organisms in field studies to assess the non‐target effects of VMPs be required only if earthworms or springtails exhibit sensitivity to the product in laboratory tests. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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