There is a large body of literature describing effects of environmental chemicals (ECs), many of them anthropogenic with endocrine-disrupting properties, on development in rodent laboratory species, some of which lead to impaired reproduction and adverse health. This literature joins extensive human epidemiological data and opportunistic wildlife findings on health effects of ECs. In contrast, the effect of endocrine disruption on foetal development and reproductive performance in domestic species is less extensively documented. This applies both to domestic farm and to companion species even though the former is critical to food production and the latter share our homes and many aspects of the modern developed human lifestyle. In domestic species, the nature of chemicals exposure in utero and their consequences for animal health and production are poorly understood. A complication in our understanding is that the pace of development, ontogeny and efficiency of foetal and maternal hepatic and placental activity differs between domestic species. In many ways, this reflects the difficulties in understanding human exposure and consequences of that exposure for the foetus and subsequent adult from epidemiological and largely rodent-based data. It is important that domestic species are included in research into endocrine disruption because of their (i) wide variety of exposure to such chemicals, (ii) greater similarity of many developmental processes to the human, (iii) economic importance and (iv) close similarities to developed world human lifestyle in companion species.
Bellingham, M., Fiandanese, N., Byers, A., Cotinot, C., Evans, N. P., Pocar, P., Amezaga, M. R., Lea, R. G., Sinclair, K. D., Rhind, S. M., & Fowler, P. A. F. (2012). Effects of exposure to environmental chemicals during pregnancy on the development of the male and female reproductive axes. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47(Suppl. 4), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.02050.x