Domestic Policy

The Livestock Industries and Agvet Chemicals branch in the Department of Agriculture is responsible for leading the development of national policy on agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines (agvet chemicals).

Agvet chemicals include a range of products primarily developed to protect crops, livestock and domestic animals. They have brought long term benefits to Australian agriculture by reducing the effects of weeds, pests and diseases on agricultural and forest production. This has led to increased productivity, better quality produce and more competitive industries.

The Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994 (the Act) empowers the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to regulate agvet chemicals up to the point of retail sale, to protect human, animal health and safety and the environment. In partnership with states and territories, the APVMA is responsible for protecting the Australian communities from the risk of agvet chemicals. The definitions of agvet chemicals are set out in the Act.

An agreement between the Australian Government and the states and territories establishing the National Registration Scheme requires the department to consult with all parties to the agreement on changes to agvet legislation. The department consults with the states and territories through the Agvet Chemical Regulation Committee (ACRC) Membership of the ACRC comprises of government representatives from each state and territory, the Australian Government and the New Zealand Government. The department performs the secretariat functions for this committee. The ACRC is an advisory committee reporting directly to the Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC), and through PISC to the Standing Council on Primary Industries (SCoPI).