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Pesticides and the intoxication of wild animals


Philippe Berny, College of Veterinary Medicine–Toxicology, 1 av Bourgelat Marcy L'Etoile 69280, France. E-mail:


Pesticides are widely used to control agricultural pests. Unfortunately, because of their biological activity, they may have detrimental effects on nontarget species. Acute toxicity, resulting in death, is reported worldwide. Although chronic and indirect effects may be even more hazardous for animal populations on a long-term basis, they are usually evaluated as parts of research programs. The purpose of this paper was to review the wildlife-poisoning surveillance systems and their results regarding the circumstances of exposure of wild animals, the pesticides involved and the species exposed. Most data are retrieved from the British and French pesticide poisoning surveillance systems in wildlife, with some data from other European structures.