Definition of terms

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Name Description Related terms
daily food basket

The quantity of food consumed each day by an average person of 60 kg body weight (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives model diet). The daily food basket is taken to contain:

  • 500 g of mammalian meat (made up of 300 g of muscle, 100 g of liver, 50 g of kidney and 50 g of fat), or
  • 500 g of poultry (made up of 300 g of muscle, 100 g of liver, 10 g of kidney and 90 g of skin with associated fat), or
  • 300 g of fish (muscle and skin or fat in natural proportions), and
  • 1.5 L of milk, and
  • 100 g of eggs or egg products, and
  • 20 g of honey.

These consumption levels, in conjunction with the median residue concentration in each of the tissues, are used to estimate the total residues that may be consumed by the average person in one day. The total amount of residues in the daily food basket must not exceed the acceptable daily intake.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to data, includes damage by erasure of data or addition of other data.

damping off

A disease that rots seedlings at soil level or prevents their emergence.

The rot of seedlings near soil level or prior to emergence (pre-emergence) or after emergence (post-emergence).

Disease or necrotic symptom of disease in seedlings in which the seedling is decayed near the soil line and the seedling topples. Damping-off pathogens may also prevent seed germination and kill the sprout before it emerges from the soil.


Signal words used on highly toxic Schedule 7 poison. Schedule 7 poisons are not available to householders or hobby gardeners.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:


  1. information in any form, and
  2. any program (or part of a program).
date of manufacture (DOM)

For immunobiological products the date of manufacture is the date of the last potency test on the complete formulation.

Also, under s 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to a chemical product, means the date on which formulation of the product was completed.

date-controlled chemical product

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Means a chemical product declared by the [Agvet Code] regulations to be a date-controlled chemical product.

Regulation 4 and Schedule 1 of the Agvet Code Regulations prescribe those products that are date-controlled products.

days to harvest
deal with

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to an active constituent for a proposed or existing chemical product, or in relation to a chemical product, includes supply or otherwise dispose of the constituent or product.

deciduous plants

Perennial plants, including some trees, which lose their leaves during winter. The term is also sometimes used for plants that lose their leaves under conditions other than those determined by season (eg in drought).

Decision tree
Declaration of Composition (DoC)

A statement of the maximum and minimum level of purity of the active constituent and the maximum levels of impurities present in the active constituent. The DoC will be authorised by a date and the signature of a person responsible for the DoC.

decomposition product
default value

A pragmatic, fixed or standard value used in the absence of relevant data.


A lack of some essential food substance in humans, animals or plants. This may be due to a lack of a major or minor element or some other chemical that is essential for growth.

deflector nozzle

A nozzle in which a fan-shaped sheet of spray is formed by directing liquid over a sharply inward-curving surface.

deflocculating agent

An adjuvant that prevents the clumping together of particles (settling out) of solids in the suspension in a spray tank.


Increased stability of solids dispersed in a liquid by adding substances that form protective colloids.

defoaming agent

An adjuvant that reduces the foaming that may result upon mixing the herbicide with a surfactant or solvent.


Any substance or mixture of substances causing the leaves or foliage to drop from a plant, with or without causing abscission.


To strip off leaves; to apply a defoliant.


A chemical's potential to break down into less complex compounds or elements (usually in soil, water or another environmental component).


A process by which a chemical is broken down into other, usually less complex, compounds through biological or abiotic processes.

The formation of transformation products that are structurally simpler than the parent compound. This process can be a result of the action of microorganisms, water, air, sunlight or other agents. Degradation data are important in predicting environmental exposure. Rapid degradation of the pesticide and its metabolites would indicate that problems resulting from the persistence are unlikely to occur.

degradation product

A molecule resulting from a chemical change to another molecule by any process that occurs on storage or over time, or when a molecule is released into the environment or comes into contact with a biological system.

degradation profile

A description of the degradation products observed in the active constituent or agvet product.

delayed action

A response to an agvet chemical product that does not occur immediately after the treatment has been applied.

delayed dormant spray

A spray applied to fruit trees, raspberries, other fruits and shade trees when the new green tips are 3—6 mm long.


Having the property of picking up moisture from the air to such an extent as to dissolve in this liquid.

Becoming liquid on exposure to air.

deposit (spray)

The amount of residue remaining on the target immediately following an application. Compare with 'residue'.


The process by which dispersal units terminate their flight by landing on soil and plants, hosts and non-hosts.

deposition velocity

The velocity at which a spray impinges on the target surface.


Through or by the skin.

Of, or pertaining to the skin.

dermal absorption

A measure of the amount of a chemical in contact with the skin that enters the body and is systemically available.

dermal toxicity

A measure of the toxicity of a pesticide to an animal or person when in contact with or absorbed through the skin.

dermal use

Application to the skin for a localised effect.


Any substance or mixture of substances intended for artificially accelerating the drying of plant tissues. Used as an aid to harvesting for drying up crop stems and foliage to facilitate their mechanical harvesting.


Dried out, with most of the water removed.


Dehydration (removal of tissue moisture) by chemical or physical action.


The process by which a substance held in the form of a surface film of molecules upon the surface of a solid is released. Desorption implicitly influences the leaching of a pesticide through soil. Such desorption can be predicted from laboratory leaching tests through soil columns or thin-layer chromatography.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to an application, means:

  1. approve, register, vary or issue on the application, or
  2. refuse the application, or
  3. if the application resulted in the reconsideration of an approval or registration as required by section 29H [of the Agvet Code ]—cancel the approval or registration under section 34AA [of the Agvet Code].

The formation, from the parent compound, of less toxic or non-toxic transformation products.


To make harmless.

To neutralise a toxin.


Unconsolidated sediments (formed at the bottom of a water body) composed of both inorganic and dead and semi-decayed organic materials.

development studies

In relation to manufacturing, studies conducted to scale up, optimise and validate the manufacturing process for an agvet product.

developmental toxicity

Any adverse effects induced prior to attainment of adult life, including effects induced or manifested in the embryonic or foetal period and those induced or manifested postnatally (before sexual maturity). These effects may include prenatal or early postnatal death, structural abnormalities, altered growth and functional deficits.


Any instrument or contrivance intended for trapping, destroying, repelling or controlling a pest (eg insects, rodents, fungi, weeds, nematodes), but not including equipment for the application of pesticides when sold separately from the pesticidal product.

diaphragm pump

A pump that is similar in action to a piston pump, but with an oscillating plate and a flexible membrane in place of a piston.


Stereoisomers that are not enantiomers of each other.

diatomaceous earth

A whitish powder comprising the skeletons of prehistoric microorganisms (diatoms) that is used as an absorbent in the manufacture of pesticides.


Plants with two cotyledons—generally referred to as broad-leafed plants.


A gas, liquid or solid used to reduce the concentration of an active constituent in a formulation or application of an agvet chemical product.


To make an agvet chemical less concentrated or weaker by adding water, oil or other liquid or solid.

dilute spraying

The application of the dilute spray mixture to the crop foliage to the point of run-off.

dilution stability dissolution rate

Any agvet chemical product intended to be applied to any animal by means of a spray or shower or to an animal or part of an animal by its being immersed in a solution of the pesticide.

The complete or partial immersion (dunking) of a plant, animal or object in an agvet chemical product.

dipping out

for ectoparasiticide dips

The practice of allowing the level of dip wash to fall to below the normal level while retaining a workable volume. This is achieved by dipping the final mob(s) of sheep without topping up.

direct drilling

Any technique that involves the drilling of seed directly into undisturbed soil and involves no cultivation prior to sowing. Stubble from the previous crop and subsequent weed growth are removed by grazing during the fallow or burning late in the fallow. The fallow is sprayed with contact herbicide prior to sowing.

direct scale

A proposed product is considered a direct scale of a reference product if the same formulation is used to manufacture various strengths, but the products are compressed or filled to varying weights corresponding to the various strengths where:

  • the pharmacokinetics of the drug are linear within the therapeutic dose range
  • the constituents are of equivalent compendial standard
  • the product is in the same dosage form
  • the product has the same physicochemical properties as the reference product (including pH, particle size, crystal form and dissolution profile, where applicable), and
  • both products are produced by licensed manufacturers to the same standard.
direct seeding

Seeding without prior soil surface preparation, by any kind of machine.

direct-fed microbial (DFM)

A product that contains viable microorganisms for oral administration. May be administered as a mass medication or administered individually to single animals.

directed application

The precise application of a product to a specific area, such as a row or bed, or to a plant organ, such as the lower leaves and stems of a plant.

directed spray

A spray applied with a boom or lance that can be angled or directed to avoid crop plants, ensuring that only weeds or soil are effectively treated.


From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

In relation to a body corporate incorporated for a public purpose by a law of the Commonwealth, of a state or of a territory, means:

  1. a constituent member of the body, or
  2. if the body does not have any members—a member of the board or other group of persons responsible for the administration or management of the affairs of the body.
disc diffusion test breakpoints

Zone diameters of disc diffusion tests are determined by calibration against clinical or microbiological breakpoints in the target animal species.

discrete variable

A variable that may take on only certain prescribed values.

discrete variables

A condition in which any part of a living organism is abnormal.


Any material that kills microorganisms.


Freeing a diseased plant or plant part from infection. The destruction of a disease agent or disease-inducing organism in the immediate environment.


The ease with which a substance is dispersed uniformly in a fluid.

dispersible concentrate
dispersible granule

A dry granular pesticide formulation that will separate or disperse to form a suspension when added to water.

dispersible powder
dispersing agent

An adjuvant commonly found in wettable powders and emulsifiable concentrates that reduces the attraction between fine particles, enhancing the dispersion and suspension of solid or liquid particles in the product.


A scattering of one substance throughout another.


The act or process of discarding or throwing away an agvet chemical product or container for such a product. Can include burying, burning, rinsing, re-use, deposit-return, or recycling.

disposal area

A municipal dump or other approved commercial or private site where provision is made for receiving and safely disposing of empty containers, spills and other unwanted materials, including agvet chemical products.


The spread of infectious material (inoculum) from a diseased to a healthy organism by wind, water, humans, insects, animals, machinery or other means.


An act of disuniting or separating a complex object into parts.

dissolution profile

Data that describe the in vitro dissolution of dosage units using pharmacopoeial methods.

Typically, the method would include:

  • at least six dosage units (eg tablets, capsules) of each batch, tested individually, and the mean, standard deviation and individual results of these tests
  • the measurement of the percentage of nominal content released at a number of suitably spaced time points, as appropriate, to achieve virtually complete dissolution and to provide a profile for each batch.
distinguishing name

The full name of an agvet chemical product used on the product label and in promotional material for the product. The name should include such descriptive words or phrases that are needed to distinguish the product from all others on the label and to identify the purpose for which the product is to be used.

distinguishing number

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

Includes a distinguishing number together with one or more letters or symbols, or both.


A person who imports, sells or otherwise supplies an agvet chemical product.

domestic and public service areas

Includes houses, residential subdivisions, schools, hospitals, barracks, restaurants, hotels, motels, cafes, playgrounds, rubbish tips, recycling facilities and recreational areas (eg golf courses, sports grounds, municipal parks and gardens).

Domestic veterinary chemical product

Veterinary chemical product used in the home/household


A state of suspended development, eg inhibited germination of seeds or growth of plant organs.


A state in which life cycle stages (eg seeds or other plant organs) temporarily stop growing.

dormant period

For deciduous fruit trees, this is the period between autumn leaf fall and bud swell in late winter or early spring.

dormant spray

A pesticide application made during the dormant period (ie before deciduous trees and other plant life begin to produce leaves in the spring).

dosage form

In veterinary medicine, a pharmaceutical product type that contains the active constituent generally, but not necessarily, in association with excipients (eg tablet, capsule, solution, cream).

dose confirmation study

An in vivo study to confirm the efficacy of a selected dose of a product (ie dose and formulation), which may be conducted in a laboratory or in the field.

Dose or dosage

The quantity of substance applied to, or entering, an organism. Usually expressed in units such as mg/kg body weight.

dose-determination study

An in vivo study conducted to determine the most appropriate dose or range of doses at which a product is efficacious.

dose-limiting parasite

A parasite that will be identified during dose-determination studies to identify the dosage of the drug at which the product shows a certain minimum level of efficacy (usually 90 per cent) for all claims or use patterns. Lower concentrations of the product will have efficacy for the dose-limiting parasite below 90 per cent, although it will adequately treat other parasites (90 per cent or better efficacy) in the host.

dose-response analysis

The relationship between the magnitude of exposure (dose) to a hazard and the severity and/or frequency of the impact or adverse effect (response) (adapted from Codex Alimentarius Commission procedural manual, 2005).

dose-response curve

A graph or plot that demonstrates the relationship between different levels of exposure (dose) and the response of the organism to the exposure (response or effect) at a certain time.

dose–response analysis

The relationship between the magnitude of exposure (dose) to a hazard and the severity and/or frequency of the impact or adverse effect (response) (adapted from Codex Alimentarius Commission procedural manual, 2005).

dose–response curve

A graph or plot that demonstrates the relationship between different levels of exposure (dose) and the response of the organism to the exposure (response or effect) at a certain time. 


A dossier is a collection of papers or other sources that contain detailed information about a particular person or subject.

dough stage

In cereals, one of the stages through which the grains pass as they form on the head and mature. The sequence is: a clear liquid stage, then a milky stage, followed by soft and hard dough stages. The grains eventually reach physiological maturity as dry grain that is suitable for harvesting.

downwind no-spray zone

A mandatory and defined zone downwind from an application site. The distance of the downwind no-spray zone, or 'buffer' zone, varies with prevailing wind speed conditions and the method of application (ie aerial compared to ground application). These factors will be listed on the product label, with the corresponding mandatory no-spray zone shown.


Saturation (through soaking) of the soil with a pesticide.

The oral treatment of an animal with a liquid product such as an anthelmintic.

dressing (seed)

The process of covering seeds with a fine coating of a fungicide.

The formulation designed for covering seeds with a fine coating of a fungicide.

drift deposit

The volume (or mass) of chemical landing on a unit of horizontal area of the ground at a given downwind distance outside the field or target area.

drift-control agent
droplet drift

When droplets are carried down by air turbulence and gravity and collect on plant surfaces. Droplet drift is the most common cause of off-target damage caused by spray application. Under good spraying conditions, this form of drift is the easiest to control.

droplet spectrum

The distribution (by number or volume of droplets) of spray into intervals of droplet size.

Drug Master File
dry flowable

A product formulation composed of small particles of active and inert ingredients, to be diluted in liquid for application; can be measured volumetrically or by weight.

Duration of protection

The maintained level of protection claimed by the applicant for a specific vaccine. The duration of protection achieved by vaccination is influenced by a number of factors such as the characteristics of the causal agent (s) of the disease, epizootiology of the infection, the immunogenicity of active substances of the vaccines and nature of the immune-response of the target animals.


A pesticide formulation, consisting of a powder of finely divided active constituent(s), alone or uniformly mixed with a finely divided inert diluent, in dry form. It is designed for application as a dry dressing without further preparation or dilution.

dust concentrate

A mixture of finely divided pesticide, with or without an inert carrier, intended for further dilution before use as a dust.

dustable powder

A free-flowing powder suitable for dusting.

The APVMA formulation type code for a dustable powder is DP.

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