Fluralaner toxicity in the environment

Petition: 434

Issue(s): Environmental assessment; Human/environmental health; Toxic substances

Petitioner(s): A Canadian resident

Petitioner Location(s): Smiths Falls, Ontario

Date Received: 15 October 2019

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition raises concerns about the alleged environmental toxicity of fluralaner, an active ingredient in Bravecto flea and tick medication, which is made by the pharmaceutical company Merck. The petition expresses concern about whether the federal government has adequately studied the effect of fluralaner on the environment.

The petition argues that because fluralaner is not a topical application, the environmental impact of the substance has been ignored, and therefore, no environmental studies have been carried out. The petition asserts that because of the way fluralaner works and how persistent it is under aerobic conditions, the substance is highly toxic to both aquatic and terrestrial insects. The petition also points out that the warning label for fluralaner states that it is suspected of harming unborn children.

The petition asks whether the federal government has conducted an environmental study on fluralaner, referencing its toxicity level and reported deaths or “adverse reactions” to the product. The petition also wants to know whether any study results will be made available to the public. The petition states that it is possible for fluralaner to enter the food chain through farm animals and argues it would therefore be important to do a study on the product. Finally, the petition calls on Health Canada to review the security profile of Bravecto and state the department’s position on whether Bravecto should be removed from the market in Canada.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Environment and Climate Change Canada; Health Canada