APVMA relocation decision questioned

Last week’s announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority will relocate to Armidale as early as March 2017 is of concern, according to a statement published on the Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) website.

AMA writes that the move from its current premises in Symonston, ACT, raises the serious prospect of a critical deterioration of APVMA’s capacity to perform the functions entrusted to it by the Australian people.

“There is a significant, real risk that this move will result in a loss of highly qualified, specialist product risk assessors. This would seriously undermine the agency’s capacity to deliver high quality, science based and predictable product assessments,” said AMA’s executive director Ben Stapley.

“Now that the Deputy Prime Minister has announced a March 2017 time frame for the move, it is critically important that measures be put in place to ensure that assessments for veterinary medicines are not delayed.”

Otherwise, said Stapley, this could not only impact AMA members, but hurt veterinarians, farmers and others that benefit from access to veterinary medicines to improve the health and welfare of animals under their care.

“At a time when Australia has an enormous opportunity to exploit new and emerging export markets, it is critical that Australian producers maintain access to the latest medicines to maintain healthy and productive animals,” Stapley added.

“These products will only become more important in the face of more extreme weather and climate conditions. They are essential to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of Australian agriculture.”

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