United Kingdom National Reference Laboratory for veterinary drug residues

Part of: Veterinary drug residues and marine biotoxins

AFBI Stormont is a United Kingdom National Reference Laboratory for veterinary drug residues

Reference laboratory network

The reference laboratory network of the European Union is a hierarchical system made up of European Union Reference Laboratories (EURLs), National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and the official control laboratories of the Member States.

Regarding residues of veterinary drugs, there are 4 European Union Reference Laboratories in the European Union, each of them being responsible for a certain number of the substance groups listed in Annex I of Council Directive 96/23/EC.

Each Member State appoints one National Reference Laboratory per substance group to take over the responsibilities on a national level.

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of the NRLs are laid out in Article 101 of Regulation (EU) 2017/625, including, in their area of competence, collaborating with the EURLs, coordinating the activities of the official control laboratories, organising comparative tests and providing scientific and technical assistance to the competent authorities.

International status

In recognition of its high international status and expertise, AFBI Stormont's Chemical Surveillance Branch was designated as the UK National Reference Laboratory for all Group-A compounds (substances having anabolic effect and unauthorised substances): stilbenes, antithyroid agents, steroids, resorcylic acid lactones including zeranol, beta-agonists and compounds included in Annex IV to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2377/90, except chloramphenicol, as well as for the following veterinary drugs and contaminants (Group B): nicarbazin (B2b) and carbadox / olaquindox (B2f).


The 4 EURLs for Residues are:

ANSES, Fougères, France (responsible, among others, for antibiotics and colouring agents)

BVL, Berlin, Germany (responsible, among others, for beta-agonists, anthelmintics, anticoccidials including nitroimidazoles, and NSAIDs)

Danish National Food Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark (responsible, among others, for chemical elements in food of animal origin)

RIKILT, Wageningen, The Netherlands (responsible, among others, for hormones, sedatives and mycotoxins)