Using veterinary medicines

In Australia, veterinary chemicals (medicines) used in the prevention and treatment of animal diseases must be registered by the APVMA, unless exempt from the registration requirement. This applies to products manufactured, imported, sold, supplied or used – including products ordered online from overseas for private use and complementary or homeopathic products.

Veterinary medicines must be registered by the APVMA – including those ordered online.

Farmers and domestic pet owners are legally required to follow the label instructions on the product unless given other instructions by a licensed and registered veterinarian (veterinary surgeon).

The Agvet Code allows veterinary surgeons to make professional judgements about the best and most effective treatment for a particular animal. This may involve importing veterinary chemical products which are not available in Australia and preparing substances that do not require registration.

Veterinary surgeons may also make treatment recommendations that are different to the label instructions on registered veterinary chemical products. The Agvet Code allows for these actions provided that the veterinary surgeon is registered in their relevant state or territory or covered by reciprocal state registration recognition and complies with state, territory and Commonwealth laws.

Veterinary surgeons must also be aware of – and adhere to – their responsibilities under the Agvet Code, including though not limited to importing, manufacturing, supplying, advertising and use.

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