Risk Assessment of Human Consumption of Meat From Fenbendazole-Treated Pheasants

Marta Carreño Gútiez, Lisa A. Tell, Beatriz Martinez Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fenbendazole is a benzimidazole-class anthelmintic that is used for the control of immature and adult stages of internal parasites, such as nematodes and trematodes, in domestic food-animal species. It is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for treating pheasants despite Syngamus trachea being one of the most prevalent nematodes that parasitize pheasants. Because it is a highly effective treatment, e.g., 90% effectiveness against S. trachea, and there are very few alternative therapeutic options, this anthelminthic is used in an extra-label manner in the pheasant industry, but few studies have been conducted assessing risks to humans. Therefore, we conducted a risk assessment to evaluate the potential repeat-dose and reproductive, teratogenic, and carcinogenic human risks that may be associated with the consumption of tissues from pheasants that were previously treated with fenbendazole. We conducted a quantitative risk assessment applying both deterministic and stochastic approaches using different fenbendazole sulfone residue limits (tolerance, maximum residue limits, and analytical limit of detection) established in different poultry species by the Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency, and other regulatory agencies in Japan, Turkey, and New Zealand. Our results show that fenbendazole poses minimal risk to humans when administered to pheasants in an extra-label manner, and a comparison of different fenbendazole sulfone residue limits can help assess how conservative the withdrawal interval should be after extra-label drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number665357
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jun 4 2021


  • drug residue
  • extra-label use
  • food safety
  • poultry
  • risk analysis
  • stochastic model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk Assessment of Human Consumption of Meat From Fenbendazole-Treated Pheasants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this