The Dung Organism Toxicity Testing (DOTTS) Advisory Group was established to exchange information about testing the effects of veterinary drugs on dung organisms, to develop test protocols for toxicity testing with dung flies and dung beetles, and to perform ring tests with dung flies and dung beetles in order to standardise and validate the test protocols.
Much of this work was completed in 2006. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has accepted the dung fly guideline "Determination of Developmental Toxicity of a Test Chemical to Dipteran Dung Flies (Scathophaga stercoraria L. (Scathophagidae), Musca autumnalis De Geer (Muscidae)” as prepared by DOTTS for review by OECD member states. In the future, the focus will be on preparing a guidance document for the performance of dung beetle tests.
Jörg Römbke (Chair of the DOTTS advisory group)
Technically speaking, DOTTS has fulfilled the tasks it was founded for: to provide industry and authorities with standard test guidelines with dung organisms. While some experiences about the effects of antiparasitics were available in the literature, no test guidelines were available when test results were required for the registration of certain veterinary pharmaceuticals. No organisation took the responsibility to select the most appropriate test methods, to prepare draft guidelines, to organise a ring test, to evaluate its results, and to help the responsible organization—in this case the OECD—during the standardisation process. Obviously, an organisation like SETAC, and in particular an advisory group, is needed in such a situation, where a certain goal has to be reached in a limited time and without external support. DOTTS combines resources, experiences, and flexibility—and has proven that such an approach works.
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