Controls over steroid supply and use

An Order to control supplies of steroids by veterinary surgeons under the Stock Medicines Act came into effect from 17 July 1998. This Order restricts all supply of injectable anabolic steroids or testosterone by veterinary surgeons. The order is available for download below.

In summary, the provisions are as follows.

Injectable anabolics and testosterones

  • Veterinary surgeons are not permitted to supply injectable steroids to anyone (except another veterinary surgeon), nor to return them to the supplier. No prescribing is permitted.
  • Animals requiring treatment with an injectable steroid must be injected by the veterinary surgeon.  Another person is permitted to carry out the injection in the immediate presence of the veterinary surgeon who supplies the product to them for the purpose.
  • All injectable steroids must be kept in a locked container (cupboard, case, vehicle, etc.) when not in use.
  • Detailed records of all use must be maintained, clearly identifying the animal/client, date and amount used for each product purchased. Records of purchase (source, quantities, date) must also be maintained. How records are kept is up to each veterinary surgeon, but they must clearly account for all purchases and use, and be kept for at least two years.
  • Records of stock on hand must be established immediately, and all records of purchase or use made within 24 hours of the use.
  • Authorised inspectors under the Stock Medicines Act may request access to all such records. Suitable consolidated records that can account for all purchases and use must be produced within a reasonable time.
  • Any loss or theft greater than 50 mL must be reported to Jenene Kidston (contact details below).
  • Unwanted products may only be disposed of as approved by Jenene Kidston.

Sheep testosterone

Certain exemptions and different conditions apply in the case of veterinary surgeons supplying injectable testosterone for sheep use.

  • They are permitted to supply product, but only when they know the purchaser and know that the purchaser owns sheep that require treatment.
  • They may supply enough product for a single treatment only of the affected sheep (a single treatment for producing teasers would be an appropriate course of injections).
  • They must maintain, in a book similar to the S8 Poisons Register, separate records for all purchases and supplies. Batch numbers of products must be recorded.

Auditing of some veterinary surgeons will be undertaken, and this will include checks on clients, particularly sheep owners supplied with testosterone products.

The penalties for offences against this Order are up to $22,000 for individuals and $44,000 for corporations.

Further information

A copy of the Order was published in the Government Gazette of Friday 17 July 1998 and in the Sydney Morning Herald public notices.

Printed copies of the Order will be made available on request, or sent electronically if requests are made to

Any evidence of increased supply of oral anabolics or sheep testosterone will be monitored, and similar restrictions may then be applied to them in future.

All questions in relation to this Order should be directed to:

Jenene Kidston
Technical Specialist Farm Chemicals
Biosecurity and Food Safety
Phone: 02 6391 3625