Toxic pesticides from pet medicines contaminate ecosystems

Pesticides from veterinary medications for dogs and cats are infiltrating the natural surroundings.

Toxic pesticides from pet medicines contaminate ecosystems

A single dose of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, commonly found in tick and flea treatments for large dogs, is enough to kill millions of honeybees, reports PAN UK.

A new study released in November 2023 by PAN UK shows that five chemicals, considered too harmful for crops, are still regularly used in medicines for pets. These substances, commonly employed in tick, flea, and worm treatments for cats and dogs, are contaminating rivers throughout England, posing a threat to aquatic ecosystems.

Five pesticide active substances, banned from use on agricultural crops due to their impact on human health and/or the environment, play a significant role in this environmental contamination.

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However, even with available alternatives, these chemicals persist in widespread use in medicines for dogs and cats, often used preventively and without prescriptions. This undermines efforts to decrease chemical pollution in the environment, jeopardising the stability of global ecosystems, as studies have indicated.

What can we do about it?

Veterinary and environmental groups are calling on the UK Government to address chemical pollution by prohibiting the inclusion of these harmful pesticides in medicines for cats and dogs. With over three hundred alternative products available, a ban is unlikely to adversely affect animal welfare.

Join the call for a ban by taking 1 minute to email minsters at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Fill in the form to send a letter to the UK Government today.


1.  What are the five active substances that groups are calling for to be banned from use in medicines for dogs and cats?

2. Preventing pesticides in veterinary medicines for dogs and cats from damaging the environment. An open letter to the UK Government.

3. Ban toxic pesticides from pet medicines form

4. A call for toxic pesticides in pet medicines to be banned

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