APVMA CCC E-Bulletin Issue 17 - September 2009

After each Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting an e-bulletin is produced by the members of the committee to let the community at large know some of the key things that were discussed at the meeting. This is the third e-bulletin for 2009. The committee met in Canberra on 18th September 2009. Here are some to the main issues discussed and actions agreed at the meeting.

New Member

Members welcomed a new member Mr John Mills. John brings to the CCC a wealth of knowledge from an education and agricultural training perspective.  It is planned for the one remaining vacancy to be filled prior to the December meeting.

Science Based Risk Assessment

APVMA staff gave members a presentation on how the APVMA uses risk assessment in accessing the risk of agricultural and veterinary chemicals. The three main risk areas that are used to compile and determine a risk assessment are human health, environmental (aquatic and non aquatic) and international trade. For more information, see the Registration Process Fact Sheet (PDF, 308kb).

Spray Drift Standards

Spray Drift issues have been raised by CCC members at a number of previous meetings. Members were updated with the new spray drift recommendations. Spray drift restraints will be listed at the front of the label and will mention written records, droplet size and buffer zones or no spray zones (which will vary according to method of application, downwind or upwind and threshold of unacceptable risk).

Operating Principles describe the methods and scientific principles the APVMA uses to assess and manage spray drift issues.

Standard spray drift scenarios provide detailed information about spray drift behaviour for a range of ground and aerial spray drift application methods. They include APVMA modelling input parameters.

The APVMA sets the size of no-spray zones based on the inherent hazard the pesticide presents and an assessment of the specific risk. These are the protective buffer zones that the APVMA requires between an application area and an area downwind that needs to be protected.

Emerging Issues

Members discussed how emerging issues could be better communicated to the APVMA by members of the CCC.  The CCC has a firm view that bringing emerging issues to the attention of the APVMA is a major role and helps the APVMA to be aware of community views and concerns regarding agricultural and veterinary chemicals in areas such as ‘safe use’, ‘adverse experiences’,  ‘confidence in APVMA processes’ and ‘emerging issues’.

A new matter had been raised by the RSPCA with the CCC – inclusion of humaneness considerations in the registration of new products for the control of pest animals.  A new report is available:  A model for assessing the relative humaneness of pest animal control methods (external site).

Over Vaccination

APVMA informed members that the Australian Veterinarian Association has released its policy on vaccination of dogs and cats. This had been raised at a previous CCC meeting following a member of the public expressing concern to a CCC member.

Other APVMA Committees

Members had invited a representative from Crop Life to present an industry view on various issues including the CCC, APVMA and the links between industry and community.  It was agreed that regular contact between the APVMA committees would improve communication and facilitate greater understanding of different stakeholder issues and perspectives.

The Community Consultative Committee informs the community of matters relating to agricultural and veterinary chemicals and reports to the APVMA on the effects on the community of the use or misuse of Agvet chemicals.

Members welcome feedback from all stakeholders including industry regarding the CCC’s role and work in meeting its goals and objectives, to ensure the APVMA is aware of community concerns. To contact the committee please contact the Secretariat ph: 02 6210 4932 fax: 02 6210 4787.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in Canberra on 2nd December 2009.

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