Responsible use of veterinary medicines on farms


Ratification Date: 01 Aug 2010


Veterinarians should engage with their farmer clients to promote the responsible use of veterinary medicines on farms.

Farmers should observe appropriate precautions when using veterinary medicines in their animals to ensure the safety of farm personnel and animals, to protect the environment and to ensure food quality standards are met.


To ensure the safety of farm personnel and animals, protect the environment and ensure food quality standards are met, the following guidelines on the use of veterinary medicines on farms should be followed.

  • Avoid unnecessary treatments.
  • Use only legally obtained products.
  • Use products according to their registered label and/or written veterinary directions, paying particular attention to dose rates and withholding periods.
  • Use prescription medicines only in accordance with veterinary directions.
  • Ensure in-feed and in-water medication is used only for the intended animals, at correct rates, with appropriate safeguards against contamination.
  • Follow all label first aid and safety directions and ensure all users are adequately trained.
  • Store products in accordance with label directions.
  • Do not use products which are out of date.
  • Dispose of unwanted product in accordance with label instructions and local requirements.
  • Identify all treated animals sufficiently to ensure residue-affected animals, milk, honey or other food products are not sold.
  • Record all animal treatments and keep the records for at least three years.
  • Contact the manufacturer and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) in the case of observed adverse reactions, including apparent treatment failures (https://apvma.gov.au/node/309).
  • If using pesticide, herbicides and fungicide treatments in the environment of animals ensure that they do not contaminate stock, feed, equipment, housing, yards or soil.