The APVMA’s response to the current mouse plague

1. Our role

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for assessing, registering and approving agricultural and veterinary chemical products proposed for supply in Australia.

The APVMA regulates agvet chemical products up to – and including – the point of retail sale. Individual Australian states and territories are responsible for control of use of those products.

2. APVMA registration and permit approval process

Product and permit applications approved by the APVMA have been assessed against the statutory criteria – including safety, efficacy and trade – to protect the health and safety of people, animals and the environment. For agvet chemical users, registration or a permit from the APVMA means the product can be supplied, sold and used safely according to label directions or permit conditions.

3. What is bromadiolone?

Bromadiolone is a second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticide used for the control of rodents. Anti-coagulant rodenticides work by preventing blood from clotting, and second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticides like bromadiolone are highly effective after a single feeding.

4. Is bromadiolone approved for use in Australia?

Products containing bromadiolone have been approved by the APVMA for use in certain non-crop situations and can be found on our PubCRIS database.

5. Emergency permit application for bromadiolone

On 13 May 2021, the APVMA received 2 emergency permit applications from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) seeking permits to use an unregistered bromadiolone-based mouse bait around the perimeter of crops. One application was withdrawn on 9 June 2021.

On 23 June 2021, the APVMA issued NSW DPI with a proposed decision to refuse its emergency permit application for bromadiolone. The APVMA was not satisfied the proposed use met the safety requirements, specifically in relation to residues and the environment.

NSW DPI was provided 28 days to respond to the proposed decision. The APVMA did not receive a response to the proposed decision and on 22 July 2021, the APVMA issued a notice to NSW DPI refusing the application.

6. How we assess permits

The factors considered when granting an emergency use permit are detailed in the APVMA’s Guide for determining emergency uses or research purposes.

All permits must meet the statutory safety, efficacy and trade criteria, and assessments to satisfy the APVMA in this regard are carried out prior to completing the evaluation and making a decision on the permit application. This will include assessing potential impacts on the safety of non-target species.

7. Emergency permits issued by the APVMA for the control of mice in crop situations

The APVMA has approved several emergency permits for baits containing zinc phosphide to control mice in a range of cropping situations. Copies of the approvals can be found on the APVMA’s Permits database.

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