VFF Livestock Group to seek a seat on animal welfare committee

Sheep Central, June 20, 2018

VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance

VICTORIA’S peak livestock producer body will again seek representation on the state Government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee.

The Victorian Government today sought expressions of interest for eight members to join the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee for a term of up to three years.

The non-statutory committee is appointed by the Minister for Agriculture.

It provides expert advice to the Minister as well as Animal Welfare Victoria on matters relating to the welfare of animals. The expressions of interest close on July 13 2018.

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In 2015, when the previous committee was formed, the Victorian Farmers Federation protested that the committee lacked extensive livestock industry experience, and was too heavily weighted to “animal rights”. The VFF listed committee member, executive director of Animals Australia Glenys Oogjes, as its biggest concern.

VFF president David Jochinke then said the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee needed to be chaired by someone with suitable experience, and who is engaged with intensive farming systems and VFF Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the federation would be very keen to have a farmer at the head of the committee.

Mr Vallance today said the VFF is the only body in Victoria that represented farmers on animal welfare issues.

“The VFF Livestock Group has a very good working relationship with the government,” he said.

Animal Welfare Victoria executive director Sally Fensling, thanked the incumbent committee members for their great work.

“The advisory committee plays a crucial role working with Minister and Animal Welfare Victoria to improve the treatment and welfare of animals in Victoria,” Ms Fensling said.

The current committee is chaired by Professor Ron Slocombe, a veterinary specialist with over 25 years’ experience in pathology and academia.

Successful applicants will include a variety of expertise, such as:
·        agricultural, animal or veterinary science
·        care, breeding and management of companion animals
·        animal welfare expertise; public policy
·        commercial, recreational, display and scientific use of animals
·        ethical standards and conduct in respect of animals
·        wildlife conservation and management.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest, visit


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  1. Debra Talbot, June 23, 2018

    The variety of expertise required to accommodate the welfare of animals is not part of the farmer’s ‘job description’. With the majority of farmers having $ signs as their focus, no farmer should be allowed to chair this committee. The government would be negligent to allow this to happen and it would cause an uproar with the Australian public.

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