Vertebrate toxic agents

The use of vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs) is covered by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (the HSNO Act).


Under the HSNO Act, operators intending to apply VTAs must obtain permission from a warranted HSNO enforcement officer from a public health unit in the area of the proposed operation.

Under this regime, officers have the discretion to apply conditions to ensure that public health risks are assessed and managed.

The vertebrate toxic agents that permission must be obtained for are as follows:

  • All substances containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080)
  • Potassium cyanide
  • Sodium cyanide
  • Yellow phosphorous
  • 3-chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride (DRC 1339)
  • Microencapsulated zinc phosphide (MZP) paste

Further information and application forms can be found on the Ministry of Health website(external link).