The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has written to the Victorian Minister Lily D ‘Ambrosio, Minister for Environment and Climate Action calling for an immediate suspension of the rules that allow camping on riverside farmland due to the biosecurity risks posed by both Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
VFF President Emma Germano said both LSD and FMD pose a very real risk to the agriculture industry and the Victorian Government must take swift action to prevent disaster.
“Control measures at our international borders do not go far enough and we need the Victorian Government to step up and protect our livestock and farm businesses.”
“Uncontrolled public access to farmland presents the most serious risk to farm biosecurity and we believe it’s a no brainer to suspend the rules that allow camping on riverside farmland.”
“We can’t leave anything to chance when an incursion of FMD could cost our economy over $80 billion, leave thousands of people without jobs and devastate our regions,” Ms Germano said.
Ms Germano added the strict biosecurity measures in place at farms designed to keep out disease could be rendered useless if public access to farmland remained open
“Farmers must have the ability to control and trace the movement of people on and off the property
on which they have livestock. We can’t do that if we don’t know who’s on our farms.”
“Farmers carefully protect our biosecurity because it is fundamental to our ability to produce quality, nutritious and safe food for our community, and to maintain market access around the globe.”
“There’s a huge hole in the biosecurity protocols when farmers are implementing foot and vehicle washing, keeping a logbook of our visitors, and yet campers can enter without a registration system that was promised before this was implemented by the Minister,” Ms Germano said.
You can view the VFF’s letter to the Hon. Lily D ‘Ambrosio, MP Minister for Environment and Climate Action here.