Definition of terms

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Name Description Related terms

A prefix that refers to a billionth of something (such as a unit of measurement).

nano-based veterinary chemical products

Products that have been manufactured (entirely or in part) by nanotechnology and are intended to be used on animals in Australia.


Manufacturing at the nanoscale.


Material defined in one, two or three dimensions at nanoscale.


Having an internal or surface structure at the nanoscale.


Material with any external dimension in the nanoscale or having internal structure or surface structure in the nanoscale.


A subset of nanotechnology that is specifically applied to the diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and control of disease and biological processes.


A particle with all three dimensions at the nanoscale.


The size range from approximately 1 nm to 100 nm

nanoscale phenomena

Properties attributable to size that differ from the bulk (non-nano-sized) material.


The application of scientific knowledge to manipulate and control matter in the nanoscale in order to make use of size- and structure-dependent properties and phenomena, as distinct from those associated with individual atoms or molecules or with bulk materials.


Nostrils; openings from the nasal cavity.

narrow-leaf plants

Plants with narrow leaves and parallel veins. Examples include grasses, sedges, rushes and onions.

Compare with 'broad-leaf plants'.

National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

Means the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia, a company having the Australian Company Number (ACN) 004379748.

National Drugs and Poisons Scheduling Committee (NDPSC)

A Department of Health and Ageing Committee that was responsible for the scheduling of poisons and human and veterinary medicines. It was replaced by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS) and the Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS) in 2010.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia's leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards. It brings together within a single national organisation the functions of research funding and development of advice. The organisation was constituted in 1936 and became a statutory authority in 2006.

National Registration Scheme for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRS)

A set of regulatory arrangements for the management of pesticides and veterinary chemicals in Australia. The APVMA administers the scheme's legislation in partnership with state and territory governments and other Australian agencies.

National Residues Survey (NRS)

An industry-funded activity whose core work is to facilitate the testing of animal and plant products for pesticide and veterinary medicine residues and environmental contaminants. The NRS is administered by the Department of Agriculture.

National Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC)

The National Resource Management Ministerial Council was in operation from 2001 until its remit was withdrawn on 30 June 2011. On 13 February 2011 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) announced that a COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water would replace the NNRMC.

native pasture

Pasture composed of native plants or naturalised exotic plants.


An agricultural chemical product where the active constituent comprises or is derived from a living organism (plant, animal, micro-organism, etc), with or without modification.

This includes many products that are commonly referred to as 'botanicals', 'organics' or 'herbals'.

natural enemies

The predators and parasites in the environment that attack pest species.


The death of cellular material within the body of a living organism.


Showing varying degrees of dead spots or areas.

Negative control

An untreated sample or study group, or a group given a placebo, used for comparison to a treated sample or study group for the purpose of studying the effect of the treatment.


Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or controlling nematodes inhabiting soil, water, plants or plant parts.


Invertebrate animals of the phylum Nematoda. Nematodes are unsegmented roundworms with elongated, fusiform or sack-like bodies covered with cuticle and inhabiting soil, water, plants and animals. Nematodes are also commonly referred to as nema, roundworms, threadworms and eelworms. Nematodes range from microscopic to visible with the naked eye.


Any new and abnormal growth, such as a tumour. A new growth, comprising an abnormal collection of cells, the growth of which exceeds and is uncoordinated with that of normal tissues.


A synthetic rubber, often used to make gloves and boots, that offers protection against most pesticides.

nervous system

All nerve cells and tissues within animals, including the brain, spinal cord, ganglia, nerves and nerve centres.

net contents

The amount (volume or weight) of product that the manufacturer guarantees is in a package, exclusive of all wrappers or other materials enclosing the product and deemed to be the average content, unless stated as a minimum quantity.


The ability to produce an adverse effect in the central or peripheral nervous system.


A term applied to substances that are neither acidic nor alkaline (ie with a pH of 7.0).


A chemical agent of a formulation that suppresses the residual activity of a disinfectant within a test, but does not inhibit or inactivate microorganisms.

new active constituent

An active constituent that has never before been approved by the APVMA for use in an agricultural or veterinary chemical product in Australia and has not been entered into the Record of Approved Active Constituents for Chemical Products.

new immunobiological products

New immunobiological veterinary products are generally exempt from requirements for toxicological and occupational health and safety (OH&S) assessments, except in the case of new adjuvants or other excipients of OH&S concern. Aerosolised vaccines may require toxicological and OH&S assessment.

Vaccines containing genetically modified organisms require evaluation by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and environmental assessment.

New product

A product that, at the time an application in respect of that chemical product is lodged with the APVMA, is not registered in Australia.

new source of (agricultural) active constituent

A new manufacturing source of an approved active constituent, where the source is not currently approved by the APVMA.

new source of veterinary ectoparasiticide

A new manufacturing source of an approved veterinary ectoparasiticide active constituent, for which there is no compendial standard, where the source is not currently approved by the APVMA.

new use pattern

In relation to a chemical product containing an active constituent(s), means a use pattern that has not been approved for any registered product containing the same active constituent(s).

no-observed-adverse-effect concentration (NOAEC)

The highest concentration of a gas in a study or group of studies at which no toxic (ie adverse) effects are observed in the exposed animals or humans.

no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL)

The highest dose of a substance in a study or group of studies at which no toxic (ie adverse) effects are observed in the exposed animals or humans.

no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC)

The highest concentration of a gas that produces no biological effect in a study or group of studies in the exposed animals or humans.

no-observed-effect level (NOEL)

The highest dose of a substance that produces no biological effect in a study or group of studies in the exposed animals or humans.

no-spray zone

A protective buffer zone between a chemical application area and an area downwind that needs to be protected.


A crop management practice in which there are no cultivations during the fallow period between subsequent crops. All weed control is achieved by the use of herbicides and the next crop is sown directly into undisturbed soil through the remaining stubble and weed residue.


The position on the stem of a plant where a leaf or bud arises. The thickened portion of a branch, cane or shoot where the leaf and its compound bud are attached.


A lump, knot or tubercle.

nominal variable

A nominal variable allows for only qualitative classification. That is, it can be measured only in terms of whether the individual item belongs to a distinctively different category, but it cannot be quantified or even given a rank order.

nominal variables
nominated agent

From s. 3 of the Agvet Code:

For an approval or registration, means the person entered in the Record [of Approved Active Constituents], Register [of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products] or relevant APVMA file as the nominated agent for the approval or registration.

non-active constituent

Any component, other than an active constituent, that is deliberately included as part of a formulated product. Non-active constituents are added at the time of manufacture for various reasons, eg to improve formulation characteristics such as stability, solubility and spreadability. Non-active constituents are also sometimes referred to as an excipients, additives or additive ingredients and inert constituents. Examples of non-active constituents include wetting agents, emulsifying agents and dyes.

non-aqueous concentrate

A solution of an active constituent in oil or non-aqueous solvents, for dilution with non-aqueous solvents to form a true solution for application.

non-food-producing animals
non-ionic surfactant

Surfactants where the hydrophilic (water-loving) head section is not positively or negatively charged. The performance of these surfactants is not sensitive to water hardness.

non-selective herbicide

A chemical that is generally toxic to plants without regard to species.

A herbicide that will kill or injure almost any plant, whether it be crop or weed, grass or broadleaved.

non-selective pesticide
non-selective weed control
nonextractable residues

Residues that are not readily extractable from tissues with mild aqueous or organic extraction conditions. These residues arise from:

  • incorporation of residues of the drug into endogenous compounds
  • chemical reaction of the parent compound or its metabolites with macromolecules
  • physical encapsulation or integration of radioactive residues into tissue matrices.

The practice of making inward sloping cuts into a trunk near ground level with a herbicide solution for the purpose of treatment.

Notice of Proposal
notification number

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

Means a notification number assigned to a person under regulation 47 [of the Agvet Code Regulations ].

Regulation 47 requires the APVMA to assign a unique notification number if a person notifies it of their intention to supply hormonal growth promotant, specifies each premises from which the person intends to supply it and pays the prescribed application fee.

notional wholesale value

From s. 3 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical Products (Collection of Levy) Act 1994. In relation to a chemical product at a particular time, means the amount that the APVMA determines would have been received:

  1. if the product is an Australian product—by the manufacturer, or
  2. if the product is an imported product—by the importer

in respect of the product if, at that time, the product had been sold by the manufacturer or importer, as the case may be, by wholesale to a person with whom the manufacturer or importer was dealing at arm's length.

noxious weed

A plant considered by law to be especially undesirable, unwanted or troublesome and difficult to control. Noxious weeds are defined by State and Territory law.


Devices that control drop size, rate, uniformity, thoroughness and safety of a pesticide application. The nozzle type also determines the pattern of coverage of the application, eg flat fan, even flat fan, cone, flooding (impact), off-set, atomising, broadcast and solid stream nozzles. Nozzle types also include conventional, pre-orifice, low- or high-pressure air induction.

null hypothesis

A hypothesis stating that two variables are not related. Research attempts to disprove the null hypothesis by finding evidence of a relationship.

number average molar mass (Mn)
nutraceutical products
nutrient claim

A claim on a label that specifies the level of nutrients in a product (eg milk is a good source of calcium).


The organic and mineral compounds that are necessary as raw materials for the growth and reproduction of organisms.

nutrition message

A message on a label that sets out, in general terms, the nutritional consequences for good health of the intake of a nutrient (eg milk is a good source of calcium, calcium is essential for healthy teeth and bones).

nutritional ingredient

From r. 3 of the Agvet Code Regulations (unless the contrary intention appears):

Includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. protein meals (as a protein source)
  2. fermentation products from human foods, (including brewer’s grains, yeasts and yeast extracts)
  3. hay, including lucerne hay and peanut hay
  4. chaff
  5. straw
  6. grains, other similar seeds and the products of those grains or seeds
  7. vitamins, minerals and amino acids at normal nutritional levels
  8. salt, limestone and inorganic phosphorus sources
  9. fats and oils
  10. milk by‑products
  11. non‑protein nitrogen sources
  12. molasses.

The stage of development of certain insects after hatching, when the young insect looks like an adult insect but is smaller and has some body parts less fully developed.

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