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Epidemiological Study of Pesticide Poisoning in Domestic Animals and Wildlife in Portugal: 2014–2020

By Andreia Grilo, Anabela Moreira, Belmira Carrapiço, Adriana Belas, Berta São Braz

Category Journal Articles

Nowadays the intentional poisoning of domestic and wild animals is a crime in the
European Union (EU), but as in the past the poison is still used in rural areas of a
number of European countries to kill animals that were considered harmful for human
activities. From January 2014 up until October 2020, the Laboratory of Pharmacology
and Toxicology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (LFT-FMV) has done the analytical
detection of poisoning substances in 503 samples of wildlife and domestic animals and
pesticides residues were found in 239 of the samples analyzed. In this retrospective study,
toxicology results from domestic species (dog, cat, sheep, cows, and horses), wildlife
species (red foxes, birds of prey, lynx, and wild boar), and food baits, are presented.
During this period the samples analyzed at the LFT-FMV, were received from all over the
country. Analytical detections were performed via solvent extraction followed by thin layer
chromatography. Molluscicides (47%, n = 109) and Carbamates (24%, n = 57) were
found to be the first category of pesticides involved in intoxications, in both domestic
and wild animals, followed by rodenticides (13%, n = 30)—in this group second and
third generation, were the most represented; Strychnine is the third (11%, n = 26) even
though this pesticide has been banned in Portugal since 1988 and in the European Union
since 2006 and finally Organophosphates (5%, n = 11) in the small number. This study
allowed to realize that a great number of positive samples involved banned pesticides
(i.e., Aldicarb and Strychnine) but, at the same time, many positives cases were due
to the exposure to commercially available products (i.e., Methiocarb and Anticoagulant
rodenticides). Also, it’s possible to identify the areas where domestic species are the
most affected (i.e., Setubal and Lisboa) and the areas where the wild animals are the
mainly affected species (i.e., Faro, Castelo Branco, and Bragança).


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2021
Publication Title Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume 7
Pages 9
DOI 10.3389/fvets.2020.616293
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Domestic animals
  4. open access
  5. Pesticides and Drugs
  6. Poisoning
  7. Portugal
  8. Wild animals
  1. open access