Summary of responsibilities and response structures

This fact sheet outlines the responsibilities of government agencies for animal welfare in emergencies. You can also download a PDF version of this fact sheet: Summary of responsibilities and response structures (PDF - 309.7 KB) .


Key messages

The primary responsibility and duty of care for animals always remain with the person in charge of the animal (the owner or carer).

Have a rehearsed emergency plan for your animals which includes an evacuation kit, suitable transport and multiple evacuation routes where possible.

Responsibilities of Government agencies

Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) -  
Agriculture Victoria

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Local Government
  • Primary agency for
    welfare of livestock and companion animals
  • All hazards, all species
    excluding wildlife
  • Coordination of  
    animal welfare agencies.
  • Primary agency for
    wildlife welfare
  • Coordination of wildlife
    agencies & volunteers
  • Wildlife welfare
    assessment
  • Care of animals at  relief centres (where capacity exists)
  • Stray, wandering
    and lost animals
  • Disposal/burial
    of carcasses.

Responsibilities of key partner organisations

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)

  • Maintains and co-ordinates a volunteer database of veterinarians and veterinary nurses to support animal welfare emergencies.

Royal Society for the Prevention of cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

  • May assist DJPR and DELWP to undertake animal welfare assessment activities and provide animal welfare resources
    as required.

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF)

  • Liaises with DJPR to determine the scale and co-ordination of fodder distribution requirements.

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)

  • Provides co-ordination of LGA’s impacted by emergencies and provides resource sharing arrangements.

NOTE: Access or requests to any key partner organisations must be made via Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) or Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) as appropriate (depending on the incident). They will coordinate and communicate to ensure state oversight, prioritisation and to avoid duplication.

Emergency Animal Welfare response structure

Although the State Biosecurity Operations Centre (SBOC) at Attwood is the preferred facility to lead large scale livestock and companion animal welfare responses, Agriculture Victoria maintains a flexible approach to suit the geographical location and nature of the incident.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will lead wildlife response activities through the Incident Management Team and the State Control Centre. The structures below represent arrangements for a level 2 or 3 incident.

Read below for description of the diagram

For further information refer to the Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan page.

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DELWP Wildlife

  • Links to Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) (Agriculture Victoria) at State Level through State Animal Welfare Commander Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is also connected to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) at Regional Emergency Management Team and Incident levels.

Australian Veterinary Association (AVA)

  • Links to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) at state level through State Animal Welfare Commander.
  • Links to DELWP at state level through State Agency Commander.

RSPCA

  • Links to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria at state level through State Animal Welfare Commander
  • Links to DELWP at State level through State Agency Commander

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF)

  • Links to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) at state level through State Animal Welfare Commander

Local Government

  • Links to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) at Regional Level through DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) Regional Agency Commander (Regional Animal Welfare Commander) and at Incident level through DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) Incident Agency Commander.
  • Links to DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) at Regional Level through DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) Regional Agency Commander (Regional Animal Welfare Commander) and at Incident level through DJPR (Agriculture Victoria) Incident Agency Commander.

Page last updated: 18 Jan 2023