4-aminopyridine (4-pyridinamine, H2NC5H4N) is a potassium channel blocker that acts as a central nervous stimulant. It is used in veterinary medicine to reverse the effects of certain anaesthetics and sedatives as well as being used as a pest bird flock deterrent.
Affected birds are agitated and their calling behaviour alarms the rest of the flock. Usually only a limited number of birds in a flock need to be affected to alarm the flock and deter them from an area. 4-aminopyridine is rapidly metabolised and excreted and secondary poisoning of predators has not been reported.
4-aminopyridine has no intrinsic selectivity for pest birds and particular skills and knowledge required to correctly use products to avoid intoxication of non-target birds and animals.
The APVMA has determined that it is in the public interest for vertebrate pest control products containing 4-aminopyridine to be declared restricted chemical products (RCPs), effective 16 December 2009. Restricted chemicals may only be supplied to or used by an authorised person.
4-aminopyridine is registered to repel and deter pest bird flocks of domestic pigeons (also known as feral pigeons or rock pigeons), sparrows, starlings and Indian Mynahs (also known as Common Mynahs).
4-aminopyridine is registered for use at industrial sites and farm buildings but not in or near food crops. Other uses could be authorised by an APVMA permit.
4-aminopyridine is supplied as pre-mixed bait (grain) and control of pest bird flocks occurs after a period of pre-feeding with similar untreated grain to accustom the pest birds to the food source and to confirm that non-target species are not present. Label instructions require constant supervision of the bait, removal of the bait if non-target species arrive in significant numbers and removal, humane euthanasia and disposal of any dead or dying birds.