Victoria’s “old and creaky” animal welfare legislation is hindering the development of new innovations in the livestock industry, says Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford.
It’s been amended a bunch of different times - it’s old and creaky.
Ms Pulford told the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Grains Conference, held in Geelong this week, the government was in the process of reviewing animal welfare legislation.
“It’s now more than 30 years old. It’s been amended a bunch of different times – it’s old and creaky,” Ms Pulford said.
She said one area being held back by outdated animal welfare legislation was virtual fencing technology.
The technology required collars to be placed on livestock to train them to stay behind the virtual fences.
But because Victorian legislation did not allow such technology, the company developing virtual fencing had to carry out trials in NSW.
The recently established Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) was investigating the matter.
Mr Pulford said farmers should have nothing to fear.
“It’s essentially about modernising our approach to animal welfare,” Ms Pulford said.
“I think all of our farmers know this is important.”
She told the conference animal welfare issues were of an increasing interest and was a concern to the whole community.
Since appointed to the Agriculture portfolio, Ms Pulford said animal welfare reports had quadrupled in the past five years.
Ms Pulford told the conference the role of government was to work with industry to help it stay ahead of consumer trends.
“Producers too can play a leadership role around animal welfare,” she said.