National reference laboratories for residues of veterinary medicinal products and hormones in foodstuffs of animal origin

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 "Control Regulation" requires Member States to designate reference laboratories for those issues for which Commission Reference Laboratories have been established by the European Community. Three European Reference Laboratories (EURL) are responsible for the area of "residues of veterinary drugs and hormones" of pharmacologically active substances:

  • ANSES (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail), Fougeres/France: antimicrobial substances.
  • BVL (Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety), Berlin/Germany: beta-agonists, nitroimidazoles, antiparasitics, coccidiostats, NSAIDs
  • WFSR (Wageningen Food Safety Research), Wageningen/Netherlands: endocrine disruptors, tranquilizers.

At the national Austrian level, three National Reference Laboratories (NRL) are responsible for these topics, which are combined in the Department of Veterinary Medicinal Products, Hormones, Contaminants and Special Analytics in our Food Safety Business Unit.

Our services

  • Analyze samples for veterinary drugs and hormones as part of the National Residue Control Plan.
  • Perform confirmatory and comparative analyses for routine laboratories testing antibiotics using inhibitor assays
  • Develop and validate new analytical methods
  • Support the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection in the annual preparation of the National Residue Control Plan for live animals and animal products
  • Providing expert opinions and information

The responsibility as National Reference Laboratory for the area "Veterinary Medicinal Products and Hormones" results from the substance groups listed in Annex I of the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1644 of the Commission:

Group A - Pharmacologically active substances prohibited or not authorized for food-producing animals.

1. substances with hormonal or thyrostatic action and β-agonists, the use of which is prohibited by Council Directive 96/22/EC :

(a) stilbenes (b) thyrostatic agents (c) steroids (d) resorcylic acid lactones (including zeranol) (e) β-agonists.

(2) Prohibited substances listed in Table 2 of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010:

(a) chloramphenicol (b) nitrofurans (c) dimetridazole, metronidazole, ronidazole and other nitroimidazoles (d) other substances.

3. pharmacologically active substances not listed in Table 1 of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010 or substances not authorised for use in feed for food-producing animals in the Union in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council [...]:

[...] c) Antimicrobials d) Coccidiostats, histomonostats and other anti-parasitic agents e) Proteo- and peptide hormones f) Anti-inflammatories, sedatives and other pharmacologically active substances g) Anti-virals.

Group B - Pharmacologically active substances authorized for food-producing animals

1. pharmacologically active substances listed in Table 1 of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 37/2010:

(a) antimicrobials (b) insecticides, fungicides, anthelmintics and other agents against parasites (c) sedatives (d) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, corticosteroids and glucocorticoids (e) other pharmacologically active substances.

2. coccidiostats and histomonostats permitted under Union legislation for which maximum levels and maximum residue limits have been established in Union legislation


Dr. Georg Mayerhofer

Last updated: 10.10.2023

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