We’ve had some interesting calls from Victorian farmers recently about bees.
With a number of local governments updating local laws around the containment of livestock we find ourselves in a stalemate of words.
Farmers know about the need to contain livestock within paddocks and to have sturdy boundary fences that prevent livestock wandering onto roads.
It’s common sense if nothing else.
No farmer wants to see livestock involved in traffic accidents, nor be lost and wandering.
It’s as basic as bottom line business.
This brings me to bees.
Bees by definition are livestock as described in the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 and in recognition of international standards of definitions.
With every new tweak to laws relating to livestock, so too do these laws and regulations affect bees?
What are we doing?
On behalf of farmers in Victoria, we’re asking local government to add an asterisk to every livestock containment local law and add a footnote that excludes bees from these containments.
Whilst to date we haven’t heard of any penalties or prosecution relating to bees not being confined to properties (in the sense of livestock containment), we do want to avoid the distress and worry that changing laws can have on farmers when common sense no longer prevails.
For further information go to http://vff.org.au.
Lisa Gervasoni, acting policy manager, Victorian Farmers Federation.
The Victorian Farmers Federation is the key stakeholder representing agricultural animal industries.