Communication. Effective laboratory monitoring for the abuse of the beta-agonist clenbuterol in cattle
The use of the beta-agonist clenbuterol (CBL) as a growth promoter has been outlawed in European meat production. The detection of its illegal use is dependent on CBL residues persisting in animal tissues for longer than the withdrawal times given by abusers. A comparison of urine, bile and liver matrices indicated that analysis of the liver offered the best possibility for CBL detection. However, an experimental study showed that CBL detection following withdrawal could be further extended (up to 56 d) if the retina was used as the target tissue. Analysis of 703 retina and liver samples from cattle suspected of CBL medication revealed that 96 cattle had CBL residues present in their retinas, only 46 of these were liver positive. There were no instances of liver CBL residues being detected without the associated retina also being positive.