The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is to phase out the use of the veterinary product dimetridazole, which is used to prevent swine dysentery in pigs.
A review by the agricultural and veterinary chemicals regulator found dimetridazole to be a potential carcinogen and that its use in food-producing species poses undue risks to workers and consumers.
â€œAs a result of this review, we now propose to cancel the registrations and label approvals for dimetridazole products used in pigs, chickens and turkeys destined for human consumption,â€ said Martin Holmes, programme manager (Veterinary Medicines).
â€œWe have proposed a two-year phase out period. The APVMA will issue new instructions on how these products are to be used and handled during this period,â€ Holmes said.
Holmes said the APVMA recognised there would be impacts of this decision for the pig and poultry industries but that public health and safety was a mandated responsibility for the regulator.
The APVMA now requires registrants to submit varied labels for approval. The final review report and regulatory decision is expected in June 2007.
Guidance for registrants and users of dimetridazole products is available on the APVMA website.