In the Netherlands the National Inspection Service for Livestock and Meat draws up the National Plan on Hormones and Other Substances on behalf of the government. The plan describes how the monitoring of livestock and meat for residues is to be performed in the coming year. Each Member State of the EU European Union (European Union) is required to draw up such a monitoring plan. The plans must be approved by Brussels and the results from the monitoring of the past year must be reported to Brussels.

National Plan

In 1997 the National Plan was implemented in accordance with Directive 86/469/EEC. This means that random samples of livestock and meat were taken on the farm and in the abattoir. The sampling can allow for factors that would favour deception or misuse. The number of samples to be taken is generally a percentage of the number of animals of that category that were slaughtered in the previous year. The samples are then analysed for two groups of substances: forbidden substances, such as natural and synthetic hormones and ß-agonists, and veterinary drugs and environmental contaminants.

The field laboratories or the central laboratory of the RVV, and the State Institute for Quality Control of Agricultural Products, analyse the residues and contaminants. The methods of analysis must be stated in the plan and must comply with the quality criteria laid down in various European directives.

Detection of growth promoting substances

The meat production sector itself also carries out monitoring. The Foundation for Quality Guarantee of the Veal Sector has been checking the calf fattening sector since 1990 for banned growth promoting substances. The Cattle Quality Inspection (Kwaliteitscontrole Runderen, KCR), a department of the Product Boards, began monitoring these chemicals in the cattle sector in 1995.

The Foundation for Quality Guarantee of the Veal Sector not only performs visual inspections of the calf fattening lots, but also takes samples of urine and calf feeds. The Cattle Quality Inspection also examines samples. Moreover in 1997 the veal sector started a project for the detection of substances that inhibit the growth of bacteria.