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BURSIAN 77 THE EFFECTS OF AGRI CHEMICALS ON ANIMALS Steven J Bursian Department of Animal Science M S U East Lansing MI Domestic animals are raised in environments that can result in exposure to a wide variety of agricultural chemicals Because of the desire to maximize agricultural yields whether related to crops or to food producing animals there is extensive use of insecticides herbicides fungicides and other chemicals to control economically significant pests Exposure of animals to these types of chemicals may be intentional such as the dermal application of various pesticides for control of insect and parasite infestation or exposure may be accidental such as the consumption of chemically contaminated feed In either situation there are concerns One concern is the potential deleterious effect of the chemical on the animal itself A second concern particularly to producers of food animals is a commodity whether it be meat milk or eggs that is not contaminated with chemicals While these concerns are not trivial use of commercial pesticide formulations in accordance with the label in general poses minimal risks to animals and ultimately to the human consumer of food products derived from those animals However loss of animals whether they be domestic or wildlife species through the use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals does occur For example the most common causes of poisoning in cats and dogs are insecticides and rodenticides Insecticides are the second most common cause of poisoning in cattle When combined with other agricultural chemicals insecticides herbicides and fungicides are among the most commonly cited sources of chemical toxicity in horses swine sheep and goats This information indicates that there are circumstances which can and do result in animal intoxication by agricultural chemicals particularly pesticides The primary reason for domestic animal poisoning by pesticides and other agricultural chemicals is human error For example the



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