Farm chem­i­cal, wild rab­bits and an­timi­cro­bials

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

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.

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