01 March 2021

Review Panel needs to focus on future vision for agvet chemical regulation

Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) has provided a submission on behalf of the animal health industry on the Draft Final Report of the Independent Review of Agvet Chemicals Regulatory Framework.

AMA members account for over 90% of veterinary medicines sales in Australia and as the registrants of animal health products are well versed in the strengths, and areas where improvement is possible, of the current regulatory system.

Executive Director of AMA, Ben Stapley said that the first principles review of agvet chemicals represents a once-in-a-decade opportunity to get the regulatory settings right for the next thirty years.

“In setting up our system for the future, it is critical that elements of the current system that are working well are preserved, particularly the rigorous, scientific, risk-based assessments conducted by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The review should also fully assess opportunities for improvement across the entire agvet regulatory framework,” Mr Stapley said.

“As a major input to the livestock sector, veterinary medicines regulation will play an important part in helping Australian agriculture to meet its $100bn 2030 industry target. A strong regulatory system for veterinary medicines will protect the health and welfare of Australia’s 29 million pets.”

In considering the recommendations contained within the draft report, AMA is concerned the proposed changes to the regulatory system do not include an implementable package of reforms that will progress the interests of all stakeholders and meet the Review’s Terms of Reference. Of the 139 draft recommendations, AMA currently supports 11, with another 50 recommendations requiring significant additional analysis.

“In finalising the report, AMA encourages the review panel to again consider how Australia’s systems and frameworks can best accommodate and incorporate multilateral and plurilateral systems while protecting the high regulatory standards that Australian consumers, pet owners and communities expect.

“Throughout the review process, AMA has consistently presented information about Australia’s animal industries, our operating environment and the need to remain consistent with best practice regulatory systems. I urge the panel to consider this context as it finalises its recommendations.

“Animal Medicines Australia urges the panel to commit to the principles of best practice regulation to ensure that its recommendations, should they be accepted by government, maximise the net community benefit and provide a driver for investment in animal health innovation in Australia.

Mr Stapley noted that since the Terms of Reference for the Review were announced in September 2019, the current regulator of agvet chemicals, the APVMA has undergone a significant phase of timeframe performance improvement.

“The APVMA is an internationally well-regarded regulator. The most recent performance statistics for the December 2020 showed that 99% of all veterinary medicines applications were completed within the statutory timeframes.”

“AMA will continue to work with industry partners, governments and regulatory authorities to protect and improve the regulatory system for agvet chemicals.”
Animal Medicines Australia’s submission on the draft report of the review of agvet chemicals regulatory framework is available here.

The First Principles Review of the agvet chemical regulatory framework (the Matthews Review) was announced on 5 September 2019. The Terms of Reference for the review are available here. Submissions on the draft report closed 26 February 2021 and a final report is expected to be delivered to the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management by May 2021.

Review Panel needs to focus on future vision for agvet chemical regulation

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