The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has welcomed additional support and resources to help prepare Victoria against the threat of Foot and Mouth and Lumpy Skin diseases.
VFF President Emma Germano said the commitment was important to protect farms in the event of a biosecurity incursion
“The Victorian Government’s announcement of $10 million to accelerate biosecurity preparedness is very much welcomed by farmers and the agriculture industry.”
“Thankfully, Australia remains free from Foot and Mouth and Lumpy Skin disease. But if these diseases were to penetrate our borders, we would need to get on top of them as quickly as possible.”
“The VFF is pleased to see the Government will be undertaking practical measures to help boost our ability to test for disease and provide a rapid response.”
Ms Germano said in addition to the immediate support announced by the Government, she hoped to see all sides of politics commit to boosting Victoria’s biosecurity capabilities at the forthcoming State election.
“Although the threat of Foot and Mouth and Lumpy Skin has brought biosecurity into the public spotlight at this moment in time, farmers know we must be vigilant all the time.”
“Action must be taken to provide certainty to Victoria’s biosecurity system through long-term sustainable funding arrangements.”
“We expect that in the context of State election being held in November, combined with the overwhelming threats facing our industry right now, we will see some solid commitments put on the table to help boost Victoria’s biosecurity system.”
Ms Germano reminded farmers that they also need to take responsibility for protecting their farm’s biosecurity and encouraged them to take immediate action.
“Preparing against biosecurity risks is a shared responsibility. Whilst we are putting pressure on all levels of government to step up their response, that doesn’t absolve farmers of our duty to be prepared.”
“Every farm must have a biosecurity plan. If farmers don’t have one, they need to get one now. If they do have one, now’s the time to dust it off and make sure it’s activated.” “The VFF is working closely with Agriculture Victoria to ensure farmers have the information they need to prepare, and these resources can be accessed through our website.”