Over the past decade, concerted efforts by authorities, livestock sectors, and veterinarians have led to a decrease in overall sales and usage of veterinary pharmaceuticals (VPs) in the Netherlands. Despite this progress, considerable quantities are still being used. A major pathway by which VPs enter the environment is the excretion of urine and faeces from treated animals and application of contaminated manure to agricultural land. After entering the terrestrial compartment, VPs residues can accumulate in the soil or be transported to surface water or groundwater. Despite some existing knowledge regarding the occurrence of VPs in different environmental compartments in the Netherlands, the available data is limited.
This thesis enhances existing knowledge by developing an integrated approach that tracks the entire sequence of processes, from VPs usage to specific environmental compartments. It focuses on quantifying VPs residues in manure, soil-groundwater, and surface water within the Netherlands. Moreover, this research takes a step further by developing tools capable of rapid screening and prioritization of these compounds, enhancing our ability to address emerging concerns and measures aiming at reducing VPs emissions into the environment.