Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2017
The Livestock Disease Control Regulations (the Regulations) operate under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 (the Act) to provide requirements to protect Victorian livestock from disease and to maintain and enhance domestic and international market access. The legislation also aims to protect public health by preventing diseases that are transmissible to humans, to provide compensation for certain livestock losses, and to facilitate the operation of livestock traceability systems for the purposes of market access and disease and residue control.
The Regulations provide requirements, infringement offences and penalties relating to:
- the testing, notification, and prevention of livestock diseases
- the identification and movement of livestock
- the import of livestock, livestock products, fodder and fittings into Victoria
- the seizure and disposal of certain livestock, fodder, and fittings
- compensation claims.
The Regulations affect a variety of livestock industry stakeholders, including:
- Primary producers: Primary producers (including hobby producers and people who own livestock as pets) breed and raise livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, horses, alpacas, camels, bees and aquaculture.
- Stock and station agents: Stock and station agents act as brokers for primary producers and sell livestock via private sales, from farm to farm, private auctions, directly to abattoirs, or through saleyards.
- Saleyards: Primary producers and stock agents use saleyards to buy and sell livestock. Livestock can be sold based on weight or numbers.
- Abattoirs/knackeries: Abattoirs and knackeries slaughter livestock and process animal carcasses into meat and meat-related products.
- Operators of agricultural shows: Operators of agricultural shows work throughout the state at various times throughout the year.
Important changes to the regulations
On 1 July 2017 the Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2017 commenced, replacing the Livestock Disease Control Regulations 2006. These new regulations introduced some important changes for the livestock industry in Victoria.
The changes included:
- regulations to support the electronic identification of sheep and goats
- introduction of mandatory traceability requirements for the Victoria pork industry
- incorporation of requirements previously contained within certain Orders and Notices made under the Act
- other administrative changes to reduce unnecessary regulatory and administrative burden and support improved industry practice
The Regulations were further amended in 2018, with the new and revised regulations commencing on 5 September 2018.
The amendments assist the follow-up of livestock disease notifications under the LDC Act, improve the traceability of livestock and further facilitate implementation of electronic identification for sheep and goats.
The amendments also address issues identified in the administration of the Regulations by clarifying obligations, providing greater incentive for compliance through increased penalties and more enforcement options by enabling infringement notices to be issued for additional offences under the Regulations.
There were further changes to the regulation of Property Identification Codes (PICs) –
- Owners of camels are now required to apply to department for a free Property Identification Code (PIC) identifying the property at which they are kept. This requirement also applies to owners of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, alpaca, llama, deer and poultry. PICs are used nationally to identify properties that hold livestock and are a critical component of livestock traceability.
- Owners of more than 50 poultry or more than 10 ratites (emus and ostriches) are required to apply for a PIC, to align with the Primary Production and Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Product egg stamping requirements.
- Victorian owners of livestock selling livestock species online or in print media are now required to include the PIC of the property at which the livestock are kept in any advertisement for the sale (including giving away or bartering) of those livestock. It will be an offence for the vendor to fail to include the PIC in the advertisement, or for the media organisation who publishes the advertisement if it does not contain that PIC.
Agriculture Victoria consulted 57 stakeholders representing 45 entities on the amendments.
A copy of the Regulations can be found at Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents. At the site, click on Victorian Law Today to search for the Act and Regulations.
For more information on the Regulations please contact the Animal Biosecurity policy team on 9217 4199.