June VFF Livestock Policy Council update

The VFF Livestock Policy Council met on Monday 5 June 2023.

Livestock Council received reports from a number of key stakeholders, including Cattle Australia CEO Luke Bowen, and analysists from MLA and AWI.

Policy councillors reported on the seasonal conditions in their regions, and the challenges producers are facing in what has been a varied autumn across the state.  Dry conditions in the northwest and east of the state are in contrast to wet weather in the central and western regions.

Livestock Council adopted a Policy and Advocacy Plan which will guide the Livestock Group’s work for the next two years. This plan includes commitments to advocate in producers’ interests on animal health and welfare issues in the light of the Victorian Government’s expected changes to animal welfare legislation, maintaining strong representation on behalf of Victorian producers at a national level, and advocacy work around increased bio-security measures in the face of FMD and LSD threats.

In addition, the Plan encompasses ongoing engagement with government and industry with regards to livestock agent licensing, helping to facilitate a national EID rollout, and fighting livestock theft.  The Council has committed to a joined-up approach to policy and advocacy moving forward, ensuring collaboration with partners such as Cattle Australia, Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia and other stakeholders to ensure that policy work is focused and brings real results for farmers.

VFF’s Stock Sense program team updated Council on its current evaluation process ways to improve producer engagement with animal health and biosecurity issues. The Council also discussed a range producer issues including the shortage of large animal vets in regional Victoria, loading ramp safety, mulesing and strategies for improved communication and engagement with VFF Livestock Group members