VICTORIA’S Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne will finish his service for Agriculture Victoria and the Victorian Government in May.
During his five years of service with Agriculture Victoria, he contributed significantly to ensuring Victoria’s animal health and biosecurity and provided invaluable advocacy for Victoria nationally and internationally.
Dr Milne said that although he looked forward to returning to Scotland and being closer to family, he was immensely grateful for the opportunity to work in Victoria over the last five years and contribute to the Victorian and Australian biosecurity system.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Agriculture Victoria and am thankful to have worked with many incredible people, including Victorian Government colleagues, veterinary and animal health practitioners, and Victorian farmers.”
Agriculture Victoria said Dr Milne brought a wealth of experience to Victoria. He participated in the UK’s Foot and mouth disease outbreak response in the early 2000s, and served as Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer from 2003-2009.
Agriculture Victoria chief executive Dr Emily Phillips thanked Dr Milne and said the Victorian Government is better equipped to respond to animal health and biosecurity emergencies thanks to his significant contributions..
Dr Milne led Victoria through detections in anthrax and blue-tongue virus, firefighting foam contaminated pastures and worked to help many farmers recover from natural disasters including floods and bushfires.
He led the review into Victoria’s greyhound industry following the exposure of incidents of live baiting, and acted as the Minister’s delegate to authorise seizures of animals when their welfare was jeopardised.
Dr Milne has also played a leading role in the introduction of mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats in Victoria, a significant reform to improve the state’s traceability and ability to respond more rapidly to disease incursions or food safety issues.
Victoria Farmers Federation director Leonard Vallance said Victorian agriculture and Victoria gained an enormous amount from Dr Milne’s service to agriculture and government, and his advocacy for biosecurity.
“He’s handled many difficult situations while maintaining the trust of industry and the community, being a true friend to agriculture and to farmers.
“He was a driving force, sharing his wisdom, for the introduction of electronic identification for sheep here in Victoria, which was a major change for our agriculture, which we’ll see the benefits for generations to come,” Mr Vallance said.
“The VFF would like to thank him for his service. He will be missed.”
Recruitment to replace Dr Milne will commence in the near future.
Source: Agriculture Victoria.