VICTORIA’S peak farming body will be monitoring implementation of the state’s new Emergency Animal Welfare Plan to ensure it does not involve further ‘red tape’ for livestock producers.
The Andrews Labor Government today launched a new Emergency Animal Welfare Plan to protect animals during natural disasters.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford launched the plan with Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne at the State Control Centre in Melbourne ahead of the upcoming fire season.
Developed in line with Victoria’s emergency framework, the new updated plan outlines how the community and emergency services can work together to better manage animal welfare before, during and immediately after emergencies such as fires, floods and extreme weather events.
It covers all animals, including wildlife, and sets out the particular roles and responsibilities for animal owners, farmers, breeders, businesses, the community, government organisations and Victoria’s emergency services to ensure the welfare of all animals during an emergency.
Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group president Leonard Vallance said the VFF was working hard to ensure the new plan did not involve any ‘red tape’ for livestock farmers.
“We don’t need any extra red tape – that’s our concern; we would rather use the systems we have in place now.”
“We’ve been in it from the ground floor and we’ve pushed the argument consistently that we don’t need any more red tape on us,” he said.
“We’re continuing to have input into it.”
The plan also incorporates the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendation to include more consideration of the bond between humans and animals in its planning to enhance public safety and reduce animal suffering in emergency situations.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford the plan was developed to specifically make sure animals are looked after during times of high stress and danger.
Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino said the plan would help the community and emergency services work together to better manage animal welfare in an emergency situations such as floods, fire or extreme weather events.
Mr Lapsley said the welfare of animals is a massive driver of decision-making in a bushfire situation.
“So it is vital that you are prepared and have a plan for your animals – just as you would for your family.”
For more information please visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au