EU sampling strategies for the detection of veterinary drug residues in aquaculture species: are they working?

David J. Morris, Alison J. Gray, Jack Kay, George Gettinby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 50 years, the culture of aquatic species in controlled conditions to enhance production has grown in importance and now provides nearly 50% of the world's seafood supply. In part, this expansion has been made possible by the use of antibiotics, antifungals, and other veterinary medicines to control disease and improve welfare. Despite guidelines being available, the sampling programmes for drug residue surveillance of aquaculture products recommended by the CODEX Alimentarius Commission were withdrawn in 2008 and put under review. Directive 96/23/EC sets out legislation to govern how sampling programmes for drug residue surveillance should be conducted within the EU. This directive applies both to produce raised within the EU and also imported products from third countries. This communication examines the existing EU sampling regimen for aquaculture products and comments on its possible application in a global context. We examine UK statutory sampling data that, while indicating the effectiveness of the directive, also suggests that the directive may lead to unnecessary sampling. Regarding imports, examination of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) database using process control charts and statistical modelling suggests that the sampling regimen described in the directive is effective but not sufficiently flexible for the range of aquaculture practices that exist. Limitations of the directive, datasets, and practices are further discussed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Issue numberS1
Early online date31 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • veterinary drug residues
  • aquaculture
  • malachite green
  • nitrofurans
  • chloramphenicol
  • sampling
  • process control charts
  • log linear modelling


Dive into the research topics of 'EU sampling strategies for the detection of veterinary drug residues in aquaculture species: are they working?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this