Trust & Safety Blog

Home made animal remedies are subject to the ACVM Act


Have you found a magic cure for facial eczema? Maybe found a way to get rid of chicken mites?

If the answer is yes, then there are a few things you’ll need to know and check before listing your miracle elixir or 'natural animal remedy' for sale on Trade Me.

What you intend to sell is likely to be an agricultural compound – a substance or mixture of substances to diagnose, prevent, or treat conditions of animals.

This means that your product will be regulated by the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997.

This regulation is necessary to ensure these types of products cause no harm to the environment, people, and most importantly the animals that are exposed to these substances. It is also to ensure that these products cause no adverse effects on foods and primary produce intended for local and export markets.

If you wish to list an agricultural compound, ask yourself these questions:

If you discover that your product is an agricultural compound and is not exempt from registration, then you will need to make an application to the Ministry for Primary Industries before manufacturing, importing or selling your product.

There is a lot of information that you’ll need to comply with before you can make an application to register your Trade Name Product (TNP). Check out this summary  for more information.

Finally, if you are listing animal remedies, be wary of making unsubstantiated or therapeutic claims.

Creative Commons image used courtesy Peter Cooper on Flickr.

Whitebait: now you can sell the tasty wee buggers on Trade Me

Whitebait -in -egg -batter

Good news for whitebait sammy-lovers and fritter connoisseurs: you can now buy and sell whitebait on Trade Me.

Whitebait has been in caught up in the food category of our banned and restricted items list and we didn’t allow it to be sold unless it had emerged from a registered premises, under an approved food safety programme or registered risk management programme. Listings also had to comply with food labelling and standards requirements. 

This week we received an email from a Trade Me member who reckoned whitebait could be legally sold without adhering to the regular food safety requirements according to the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Amendment Order 2005. The guts is that whitebait is excluded from requiring a registered risk management programme certification and can be sold legally without meeting the standard food safety requirements. This is because it has been determined a low-risk product when balanced against the compliance costs and consumption level. 

We chatted to the Department of Conservation and the official word is that whitebait is the only fish species in NZ allowed to be sold by recreational fishers – if you can catch it, you can sell it.

We like whitebait sandwiches and fritters as much as the next person, so it’s great that Trade Me is now a place where whitebait can be bought and sold. Whitebait fishing season for most of New Zealand opens on 15 August and runs until November 30. On the West Coast the whitebait season runs from 1 September until 14 November.

Remember though - if you're selling cakes or other food products on Trade Me, you're probably captured by the regulations.

Creative Commons image used courtesy Ian Carvell on Flickr.

It's a trap! Animal traps on Trade Me

Gin -traps

We’re a bird loving country. We take pride in our ornithological diversity, love to hear the dawn chorus, and feel a flutter when we hear the flap of wings from a fantail, kereru or kaka. They’re a mark of our special place in the world, and we’ve spent a lot of time over the years as a country helping protect our birdlife.

A part of this is animal trapping. Many introduced species pose a risk to the bird folk and their young, and setting traps has proved a good way to help control this threat. However, there is always a right and a not-so-right way to go about things and this is reflected in what can and can’t be listed on Trade Me.

What traps can’t be listed:

There are a lot of traps out there. Traps you can buy at your local hardware store should be fine – it’ll be the traps that you’ve found at the back of the barn that we’re concerned about. Over time, what is acceptable for trapping has changed and some older traps are considered inhumane.

  • On Trade Me, you may not list hard-jawed, leg hold traps – these kinds of traps can break and maim an animal and leave it in all sorts of pain. This is in line with legislation around the use of such devices: no hard-jawed, leg hold trap may be used in a residential environment.
  • Glue traps for rats are also unable to be listed as they can only be used by commercial pest operators – the small cockroach glue traps are fine though.

These types of traps can’t tell the difference between a possum and your neighbour’s poodle, so to stop unfortunate accidents and to give members clear guidelines to follow, we’ve taken the step to ban all hard-jawed, leg hold traps and glue traps for rats.

OK, but what do these traps look like?

These traps look like the old-time gin-traps, although many can be smaller. However, the best way to identify a trap that cannot be listed is just to have a look at what it does – if there is a plate trigger that could be activated by a foot, and the jaws are metal, then it won’t be able to be listed. The size of the trap and whether the trap has teeth or not is not a factor – we'll have to pull it off the site.

Please note that you cannot modify a hard-jawed trap to make it soft-jawed.

If you’d like to know the ins-and-outs of the Government's stance on these traps, or would like to know more about identifying traps or trapping in general, we recommend getting in touch with either the Department of Conservation or the Ministry of Primary Industries – they have a lot of helpful information on their websites.

If you come across any other listings you have concerns about, please report them to us via the "Community Watch" link at the bottom of the page. This will bring them to the attention of our policing team who will investigate.

With the above, we hope that we can help keep the pests out of your garden, off the farm and away from our birds – without causing unnecessary risk or harm to other animals.

Creative Commons image used courtesy Wendy House on Flickr.  

Is that dog collar worth $30k?

Hunting -dog

Earlier this year, Radio Spectrum Management successfully prosecuted Trade Me member Conrad Adams for selling imported dog-tracking radio electronic devices. These devices are illegal to use as they operate on frequency bands that have already been allocated for other official uses.

We’ve touched on this before, but dog-tracking devices like Garmin Astro collars and their parts are a no-go on Trade Me. Garmin Astro collars are the chief offenders but other makes and models are also restricted:

  • Garmin Astro 220 system
  • Garmin Astro 320 system
  • Garmin DC 20 collar
  • Garmin DC 30 collar
  • Garmin DC 40 collar
  • SportDOG TEK equipment
  • and other devices.

For more info on why these items are restricted on Trade Me, check out this blog post. Compliance with radio-spectrum management is important. The frequencies allocated are relied on by a multitude of people working and travelling in rural areas like emergency services, logging and transportation firms, farms, NZ rail and those working in forested areas.

The use of Garmin Astro collars and similar devices creates a very real risk. At one end of the spectrum (couldn’t help myself), the interference can be a nuisance to those relying on the frequency. At the other end, it can fully disrupt emergency communications operating in the area.

Adams was fined a whopping $30k for importing and selling these devices. While this may be steep, it highlights the importance of compliance with the regulations. In this case, the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) have shown a serious commitment to prosecuting those who ignore the regulations. MBIE have indicated they will continue to pursue people importing similar equipment in the future.

If you are about to list, or thinking about listing Garmin Astro collars or similar items, it’s important that you are aware of the regulations. If you want to know more about radio spectrum management, check out this site.

MBIE’s Radio Spectrum Management team can be contacted to discuss dog tracking collars and other prohibited equipment on 0508 RSM INFO (0508 776 463) or by email at

Creative Commons image used courtesy reneeviehmann on Flickr.  

Sold or bought a vehicle? Make sure the ownership has been changed

Vintage -toy -car -with -driver

You’ve sold a car on Trade Me, the trade was smooth, however a few weeks down the line you start receiving parking infringements and speeding tickets. You forgot to notify the NZTA about the sale of your vehicle, didn’t you?

If the appropriate agencies aren’t notified of the change of ownership of your vehicle, they will continue to assume it still belongs to you, meaning you end up with someone else’s pesky parking tickets.

The change of ownership process has been made relatively easy in recent years, and can even be done online. There’s two parts to the change: the seller’s and the buyer’s.

If you’re selling a vehicle:

  • Notify the NZTA  about the sale of the vehicle straight away.
  • Complete the “Notice of person selling/disposing of motor vehicle form” (MR13A) through the NZTA. This isn’t mandatory, but it’s strongly recommended that the MR13A be filed. If the buyer doesn’t file their required paperwork, any licensing/infringements will be the responsibility of the seller.  
  • Ask the buyer to give you a transfer receipt to show they are registered to the vehicle before you hand over the keys.

If you’re buying a vehicle:

  • Complete the “Notice by person acquiring motor vehicle form (MR13B) through the NZTA.
  • Request a transfer receipt, which you may need to give to the seller when you pick up the vehicle to show you are now registered to the vehicle.

The NZTA website has all the information you need to transfer the ownership of a vehicle so check it out.

Of course, before you hand over your cash for the vehicle, you really should check if there is any money owing on the vehicle

Creative Commons image used courtesy tiffany terry on Flickr.