We investigated the effects of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin on the dung beetles Copris acutidens Motschulsky, Onthophagus bivertex Heyden, O. lenzii Harold and Phelotrupes auratus auratus Motschulsky in Japan. Ivermectin was detected in cattle dung from 1 to 3 or 7 days post-treatment, with a peak at 3 days post-treatment in two pour-on administrations (500 µg kg −1). In C. acutidens, adult survivals and numbers of brood balls were significantly reduced in dung collected at 3 and 7 days post-treatment, and adult emergence rates were significantly decreased in dung collected at 7 and 14 days post-treatment. Feeding activity of C. acutidens was inhibited in dung collected at 3 days post-treatment, but was not significantly different from that seen in control dung at 7 and 14 days post-treatment. In O. bivertex and O. lenzii, there were no effects of ivermectin on adult survival or feeding activities, but the numbers of brood balls of O. bivertex constructed in dung collected at 3 and 7 days post-treatment were significantly lower than observed with control dung. The adult emergence rates of O. bivertex and O. lenzii were significantly reduced in dung collected at 1 to 3 and 1 to 7 days post-treatment, respectively. In P. auratus, there were no effects of ivermectin on adult survival, oviposition, feeding activity, or larval survival (until the third instar) in dung at 3 days post-treatment. The environmental risks affecting the populations of dung beetles in Japan are discussed.