Farm chemical, wild rabbits and antimicrobials
VICTORIAN farm chemical users are set to benefit from reduced government red tape regarding requirements for agricultural and veterinary chemical use.
The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Regulations 2017 came into effect on July 23.
The regulations have been updated to ensure they remained the most effective means of regulating agricultural and veterinary chemical use in Victoria.
Farm chemical users should note the following changes:
simpler and more flexible record keeping requirements for farm chemical users;
amended product labelling and advice notes requirements for veterinary practitioners and stockfeed manufacturers;
clearer notification responsibilities for aircraft or mister spraying near sensitive services;
additional aerial spraying equipment options for pilots;
recognition of permits issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to use ‘restricted use’ chemicals not in accordance with the product label (off-label), which will reduce duplication in government processes, and
introduction of a new offence regarding the possession of certain high risk unregistered chemicals.
ethyl; parathion; parathion-ethyl; parathion-methyl; or strychnine.
A 2017 grants program for communities to take action on wild rabbits has been released by the Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN).
The grants will arm communities with integrated rabbit management programs throughout spring and summer.
Local community groups can apply for grants of between $ 2000 and $ 5000 as part of the 2017 Community Action Grant round, with $ 41,000 allocated to support important community activities.
Community support to manage rabbits is high, with more than 150 members throughout Victoria already volunteering to participate in the release of the new K5 virus.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Manager Established Invasive Animals John Matthews said he was pleased to see VRAN investing in these community grants to complement the virus.
He said communities could not rely on the virus alone to reduce rabbits and that best practice rabbit management principles were also required.
The last rabbit biological control virus was released 20 years ago.
AGRICULTURE Victoria raised awareness of antimicrobial resistance ( AMR) at the recent Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference in Melbourne.
The exhibition showcased the department’s important work in the fields of animal health, biosecurity and welfare.
Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne said AMR was a major global public health problem that occurs when bacteria were no longer sensitive to previously effective antibiotics.
AMR can result in antibiotics becoming ineffective, with serious consequences to human and animal health, which can include death from previously treatable infections.
The reduction and appropriate use of antimicrobials are essential for fighting antimicrobial resistance.
Pet owners and farmers are encouraged to consider the following:
not all sick animals need antibiotics;
many minor infections and injuries can heal without antibiotics;
only give antibiotics to your animal if your vet prescribes them, and
follow vet instructions fully when using a course of antibiotics.
Dr Milne also called for vets to put antimicrobial stewardship plans in place and review them regularly to reflect best practice.