Gene technology and animal health

Find out how gene technology is used in animal health.

Using gene technology in animal health

Gene technology has a wide range of potential uses in animal health, including:

  • making more effective veterinary medicines
  • making vaccines for animals – for example, the Hendra vaccine for horses
  • creating biological treatments such as antisera, antivirals, immunoglobulins and monoclonal antibodies
  • developing new diagnostic tests
  • using gene therapy – where new DNA is introduced into specific cells to make up for abnormal genes or produce missing proteins.

How the scheme affects animal health

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) registers all veterinary medicines and products, such as vaccines and chemicals.

If they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you must note that in your registration application and include any licences from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

The APVMA consults the OGTR on all GMO applications. You may be able to register a genetically modified (GM) product if you obtain OGTR approval before marketing it.

Learn more about the roles of the:

Importing GM animal health products

To import a GM product for animal health into Australia, you must register that product with the APVMA.

Biological GM products, including veterinary vaccines, must meet biosecurity requirements to enter Australia. Check the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system before importing. You may also need to apply for an import permit.

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