Defining vertebrate toxic agents

Find out about the legal definition of vertebrate toxic agents.

What is a vertebrate toxic agent?

Vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) are a subset of agricultural compounds under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997 (see definition below).

VTAs are trade name products used to kill, control, or limit the viability of vertebrate pests such as rabbits and possums. The definition of VTA includes products that have a negative effect on reproduction, but it does not include attractant or repellent substances that are not toxic.

If you are unsure of your product’s status under the ACVM Act, we can do a class determination for you. There is a fee for this service.

Definition of agricultural compound

The legal definition of an agricultural compound, as stated in the ACVM Act, is:
"... any substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound, used or intended for use in the direct management of plants and animals, or to be applied to the land, place, or water on or in which the plants and animals are managed, for the purposes of:

  1. managing or eradicating pests, including vertebrate pests; or
  2. maintaining, promoting, or regulating plant or animal productivity and performance or reproduction; or
  3. fulfilling special nutritional requirements; or
  4. the manipulation, capture, or immobilisation of animals; or
  5. diagnosing the condition of animals; or
  6. preventing or treating conditions of animals; or
  7. enhancing the effectiveness of an agricultural compound used for the treatment of plants and animals; or
  8. marking animals; and includes
    1. any veterinary medicine, substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound used for post-harvest pest control or disinfestation of raw primary produce;
    2. anything used or intended to be used as feed for animals; and
    3. and any substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound declared to be an agricultural compound for the purposes of this Act by Order in Council made under subsection (2)."
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