Diazinon and dipping or jetting sheep
In May 2007 the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) announced the suspension of the use of diazinon for dipping and jetting sheep. The APVMA is the national body responsible for the registration of all agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
The decision allowed existing stocks of diazinon products to be used for jetting and dipping for two years, ending May 2009.
It is now illegal to use diazinon for jetting or dipping sheep unless you have a permit from the APVMA and you are using specialised cage dipping equipment.
Why has the use of diazinon changed?
The decision by the APVMA to suspend diazinon was primarily based on the risk the chemical poses to rural workers. Studies found that emulsifi able concentrate formulations containing diazinon may over time form breakdown products that are more toxic than diazinon.
It was found that unless specialised cage dipping equipment is used, the exposure of the user to the chemical through the five main methods of application on sheep (portable and fi xed plunge dipping, shower dipping and hand and auto race jetting) was too great, even if appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and clothing was used.
Also taken into consideration were the risks to people handling sheep after application, and the trade implications of unacceptable diazinon residues in wool.
What does this mean for you?
Your local reseller will stock newly manufactured diazinon products registered for use on sheep for blow fly strike and wound treatment. These products must now carry a 'new label' instruction reading:
'DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT FOR DIPPING OR JETTING SHEEP'
Unless a permit has been issued by the APVMA, agricultural and veterinary chemical users must comply with all 'DO NOT' statements contained on product labels.
Contravening a 'DO NOT' statement is an offence under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemical (Control of Use) Act 1992, which provides for fines of up to $22,000.
APVMA permits for dipping
As of June 2009, the APVMA had issued only one permit for the use of diazinon for dipping sheep. This permit specifies purpose-built cage dipping equipment must be used.
If you employ a contract sheep dipping service that is not authorised by an APVMA permit to use diazinon for dipping, and you instruct the contractor to use diazinon, you are potentially committing an offence under the Act. The unauthorised contractor would also commit an offence by using diazinon for dipping, as it contravenes a 'DO NOT' statement.
For information on permits to use diazinon for sheep dipping, contact the APVMA (see website next page and search for 'permits').
Alternatives to diazinon for dipping
The APVMA has approved an alternative organophosphate for dipping sheep. Other chemical products that can be used for dipping include insect growth regulators, synthetic pyrethroids and spinosyns.
See your chemical reseller for more information on such products.
Diazinon products not to be used for dipping and jetting
The following products can no longer be used for dipping or jetting sheep:
- Coopers 4-in-1 Dip (Schering-Plough Pty Ltd)
- Coopers Di-Jet Sheep Dip/Jetting Fluid, Cattle and Pig Spray (Schering-Plough Pty Ltd)
- Diprite Constant Concentration Dipping for Sheep (Argenta Manufacturing Ltd)
- Virbac Jetdip Sheep and Blowfly Dressing Virbac (Australia) Ltd
- WSD Diazinon for Sheep, Cattle, Goats and Pigs (Western Stock Distributors)
Note: The WSD product above has retained the same trade name since diazinon was suspended but it must now carry the new 'DO NOT' label statement, so it cannot be used for dipping and jetting.
One or more of the diazinon products listed above may be stored on your property. Stockpiling 'old label' diazinon products is not advised, as it is now illegal to use these products for dipping and jetting of sheep. The user would also risk their health by potentially exposing themselves to toxic breakdown products.
Good agricultural practice is to minimise the stockpiling of chemicals. Obsolete chemicals can be disposed of through ChemClear.
How do I find out more information about the diazinon suspension?
For more information contact:
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority www.apvma.gov.au
- ChemClear www.chemclear.com.au
- Chemical manufacturers and resellers
- Your local Animal Health Officer (lice control and eradication)
- Chemical Standards Officers:
Alex Perera (03) 5430 4591
Felicity Collins (03) 5833 5203
Neil Harrison (03) 5336 6616
Jane Rhodes (03) 5147 0832
Enquiries from other regions should be directed to the nearest of the above-named regional officers.