An important monitoring tool is the National Residue Control Plan (NRCP).
The NRKP is part of a program harmonized throughout the European Union, under which live animals and animal products are tested for residues of undesirable substances. The main objectives of the NRKP are to detect illegal use of prohibited or unauthorized substances and to control the use of authorized medicines in accordance with the law. Furthermore, the exposure to various environmental contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, etc.) is recorded.
The plan is drawn up annually and contains precise specifications on the number of animals or animal products to be examined, on sampling as well as on the parameters to be examined and the analytical methodology to be used. The regional allocation of the sample quotas as well as the sampling are within the competence of the federal states. They are carried out within the framework of the official veterinary and food control, taking into account local and regional conditions. In case of suspicion of unauthorized or improper use of veterinary drugs or hormones, additional controls are carried out and samples are taken.
Blood, urine and feed are examined as part of the inspection of animal stocks, animal tissue (muscle, liver, kidney, kidney fat), blood and urine as part of the inspection on the occasion of slaughtering, as well as samples from primary animal production such as milk, eggs and honey.
According to the examination program, the following substance groups are examined within the framework of the NRKP:
- Prohibited substances with anabolic effect and non-authorized substances such as stilbenes, thyrostatic agents, steroids, resorcylic acid lactones, beta-agonists, prohibited veterinary medicinal products (substance group A according to Directive 96/23/EC).
- Substances with antibacterial effect, e.g. penicillins, sulfonamides, quinolones, tetracyclines, macrolides, aminoglycosides, etc. (substance group B1 according to Directive 96/23/EC)
- Other veterinary medicinal products such as antiparasitics, coccidiostats including nitroimidazoles, tranquilizers, anti-inflammatory agents, carbamates and pyrethroids (substance group B2 according to Directive 96/23/EC)
- Other substances and environmental contaminants such as organic chlorine compounds, including PCBs, organic phosphorus compounds, chemical elements (e.g. lead, cadmium), mycotoxins, dyes (malachite green, crystal violet) and other substances.
The selection of the substances to be examined in detail is primarily determined by their relevance. The NRKP is not a rigid program - findings from previous monitoring periods and recommendations from the EU Commission and EU reference laboratories are taken into account on an ongoing basis.
Results of the NRKP
In 2021, residues and contaminants that led to limit values being exceeded or in which unauthorized or prohibited substances were detected were found in 42 out of a total of 9,528 plan samples examined. This corresponds to a share of 0.4 %.