VFF Farming Systems update

The VFF team have been busy working on a number of key issues for members. Please read below to learn more about what’s happening in the VFF Farming Systems space:

Animal Care and Protection Bill

The Victorian Government is reforming the state’s existing legislation on Animal Welfare. Currently, the Animal Care and Protection Draft Bill is under public consultation, aiming to replace the existing Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act). The VFF is actively engaging with members and key industry stakeholders to refine our policy position. We are also in discussions with AgVic policymakers and the Minister of Agriculture’s office to ensure our specific interests and concerns are addressed. Public consultation and the due date for submissions has been extended to 25 March.

Biosecurity Protection Levy

The Commonwealth Government introduced the Biosecurity Protection Levy (BPL) Bill to Parliament on 28 February simultaneously announcing a Biosecurity Funding Advisory Panel, established without prior consultation with stakeholders from the agriculture sector. The BPL is expected to be implemented from 1 July 2024. The VFF put forward its own submission and collaborated with NFF on a national document to represent the agriculture sector.

Virtual fencing

The VFF is actively advocating for policy changes to enable virtual fencing technology for livestock in Victoria. A recent meeting with Agriculture Victoria highlighted discussions on regulatory updates, national policy alignment, and research into the technology’s effects on cattle. The VFF continues its advocacy efforts with the government, aiming for the inclusion of virtual fencing in the upcoming Animal Care and Protection regulations. These discussions are set to begin in the second phase of Victoria’s animal welfare law reform.