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Pig and Poultry Treatment Cancelled

5 July 2007

ref: mr06/07

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has today announced the commencement of the phase-out of the use of dimetridazole in food-producing animals.

Dimetridazole is a veterinary chemical used to treat swine dysentery in pigs, blackhead in poultry and game birds, and canker in pigeons and caged birds.

The recently concluded review by the agricultural and veterinary chemicals regulator has found that dimetridazole is a potential carcinogen and that its use in food-producing species poses an undue risk to workers and consumers.

“As a result of this review we have cancelled all registrations and label approvals for dimetridazole products used in pigs, chickens and turkeys for human consumption,” Mr Martin Holmes, Program Manager (Veterinary Medicines) said today.

“We have updated the labels of dimetridazole products that are used in pigeons, caged birds and game birds for treating canker. Users may continue treating breeding flocks of these species with dimetridazole,” Mr Holmes said. 

The cancelled products and their labels are being phased out over the next two years. Mr Holmes said that the APVMA has issued new instructions on how these products must be handled and used during this period. These instructions are contained in permit number 10115 which is available to the general public on the permits database.

“During the phase out period, existing stocks of cancelled dimetridazole products can be used for treating and preventing blackhead in breeding chickens and turkeys, and for preventing swine dysentery in breeder pigs,” Mr Holmes said.

“However, the use of existing stocks of dimetradiazole for pigs, chickens and turkeys for human consumption must stop immediately.”

The phase-out period for existing stocks ends on 3 July 2009.

Guidance for registrants and users of dimetridazole products is available on the APVMA website.

ENDS

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Email: media@apvma.gov.au

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