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Public comment sought on findings of the draft review of Pindone

NRA 01/4 12 July 2000

Public comment is being called for on the findings and regulatory approach proposed in the draft review of the environmental aspects of pindone. Pindone is an anticoagulant poison, which has been used in Australia for over 20 years as a bait to control rabbits.

The review is being conducted by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRA). The review was undertaken in response to concerns that the use of pindone had resulted in increased accidental off-target poisonings of Australian fauna. Until recently, pindone, which comes in ready to use baits and concentrate forms, was only available to authorised persons through state authorities. The commercial release of ready to use baits added to concerns of potential damage to native fauna.

The majority of reported off-target poisonings were in Western Australia. The draft review identified poor application practices as the main cause of the poisonings, according to Dr Ron Eichner, Manager, Chemical Review.

"In many cases of the off target poisonings across Australia, a large quantity of bait was applied in a single application rather than 2 or 3 smaller applications spaced several days apart," Dr Eichner said.

"The draft review has recommended that pindone product labels carry stronger warning statements and more detailed instructions for baiting to minimise the risk of off target poisoning. Neighbours must also be notified when baits are to be used and detailed records of use and application must be kept," Dr Eichner said.

"As only small quantities of the commercially marketed bait are currently being used and with the new measures in place, the draft review recommends it's availability continue. The supply of pindone concentrate will continue to be restricted to authorised persons through state and territory authorities," Dr Eichner said.

Dr Eichner stressed that there would be further consultation with the States and other stakeholders before the review was finalised.

Comments on the review findings need to be submitted to the NRA by Friday, 31 August 2001.

The NRA's chemical review program reconsiders the registration of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in the marketplace where potential risks to safety and performance have been identified.

Paper copies of these documents contact Chemical Review by phone on 02 6272 3213, fax 02 6272 3551 or by writing to the NRA at PO Box E240, Kingston, ACT, 2604.