Changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010
Changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010 and Livestock Management Regulations 2021
Victorian farmers work hard to keep their animals safe and protect them from pests and diseases with robust biosecurity systems. These new laws will deter behaviour that puts that hard work at risk.
These new laws aim to:
- reduce biosecurity risks and the spread of diseases on Victorian livestock farms
- deter people from trespassing on farms with the introduction of new offences
- better enable prosecutions of trespassers and allow for the issuing of on-the-spot fines.
Changes to protect Victoria’s farmers
The new laws establish a voluntary framework for livestock producers to require visitors to follow prescribed biosecurity measures. Visitors failing to do so is an offence.
This framework provides a tool to reduce biosecurity risks, including those arising from unlawful entry by trespassers.
Producers choosing to implement the framework must have a biosecurity management plan (BMP) and compliant signage in place for offences to be enforceable. A BMP coversheet is available to add to your on-farm biosecurity plan to meet this requirement.
The BMP coversheet does not replace an on-farm biosecurity plan, it is added to it.
Prescribed biosecurity measures
Biosecurity measures are practices used to manage the risk of the introduction and spread of pests and diseases on agricultural premises and to animal health.
The prescribed biosecurity measures for the purposes of this framework are:
- visitors entering or remaining on the premises do so only with consent
- visitors interfering with or disturbing any livestock or thing on the premises do so only with consent
Biosecurity management plans (BMPs)
Biosecurity management plans (BMPs) contain measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise the risk of biosecurity impacts at places where livestock management activities occur. BMP coversheets can be used to add to your existing on-farm biosecurity plan to ensure these requirements are met.
BMP coversheets are prepared by the livestock manager and are to include mandatory content. They can be prepared for any place where livestock activities occur (e.g. private farms, feedlots, abattoirs) and may apply to the whole or part of that place.
For an offence to apply under the new laws, a BMP coversheet must be in place that includes the following:
- A clear title: including the words 'BIOSECURITY MANAGEMENT PLAN' and the address of the premises to which it applies.
- Contact information: the name and contact details of the nominated person(s).
- Area description: a description, map or plan of the whole or specified part of the premises to which the BMP applies, that accurately describes the boundaries of the premises.
- Preparation details: additional details including the day that the BMP comes into operation and the name of the person who prepared the BMP.
Producers may already have a biosecurity plan, for example through an industry quality assurance or accreditation program, a BMP coversheet should be added to this plan.
For the purposes of the framework, specific biosecurity signs are to be placed in clear view at all vehicle access points to the area outlined in the BMP. Where there are no vehicular access points, signs are to be placed at all pedestrian access points, for example if a biosecurity plan applies only to a shed. This is to ensure that all potential visitors are aware of their obligations.
Biosecurity signs must contain the following:
- the word ‘STOP’ or ‘VISITORS’
- a reference to the ‘Livestock Management Regulations 2021’
- a statement that a contravention of a prescribed biosecurity measure is an offence
- a summary of any prescribed biosecurity measures that apply to the premises (or the specified part of the premises)
- the method of contacting a nominated person (e.g. phone number, email, QR code) for a visitor to obtain consent for a prescribed biosecurity measure.
Existing biosecurity signs may be modified via the application of a robust (e.g. vinyl) sticker to meet the above requirements.
Requirements for consent
If the components of the framework are in place, a visitor must seek consent from a nominated person prior to entering or remaining on a livestock premises and prior to disturbing or interfering with livestock. Visitor consent procedures (including providing written notice of consent and withdrawal of consent) must be followed for the new offences to apply.
Compliance and enforcement
Livestock managers who are concerned that a person is breaching or has breached a prescribed biosecurity measure have the following reporting options available to them.
- life or property is in danger – contact Victoria Police on 000
- trespass is occurring on the property – contact Victoria Police on 000
- a suspected crime has occurred (including where surveillance devices are discovered) and persons are no longer on the property – contact Victoria Police via the Police Assistance Line on 131 444
- there is concern about the risks to the biosecurity of the property or animal welfare
The new laws are intended to deter people from trespassing on agricultural premises through the introduction of an offence for non-compliance with prescribed biosecurity measures, where compliant signs are displayed and a BMP coversheet containing mandatory content is in place. Penalties for the offences reflect the serious biosecurity threat trespassing poses to Victorian agriculture.
The penalties for non-compliance with prescribed biosecurity measures include:
- On-the-spot fine (infringement offence):
- For an individual, equivalent to $1294 (in 2022–2023)
- For an organisation, equivalent to $8321 (in 2022–2023)
- For more serious offending where prosecution is undertaken, and it proceeds to the Magistrates’ Court for determination:
- For an individual, up to $11,095 (in 2022–2023)
- For an organisation, up to $55,476 (in 2022–2023)
Other offences include:
- Damaging or defacing a biosecurity sign
- Providing false or misleading information to a nominated person when requesting consent
- Not complying with an inspector’s request to view a notice of consent
- Biosecurity management plan (BMP) coversheets (WORD - 36.4 KB)
- Biosecurity sign templates:
- – ‘STOP’ basic (PDF - 36.3 KB)
- – ‘STOP’ basic (WORD - 58.1 KB)
- – ‘STOP’ & contact details (PDF - 464.9 KB)
- – ‘STOP’ & contact details (WORD - 58.3 KB)
- – ‘STOP’ & QR code (PDF - 492.6 KB)
- – ‘STOP’ & QR code (WORD - 59.9 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ basic (PDF - 36.4 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ basic (WORD - 58.1 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ & contact details (PDF - 483.4 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ & contact details (WORD - 58.5 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ & QR code (PDF - 492.0 KB)
- – ‘VISITORS’ & QR code (WORD - 59.5 KB)
- Visitors’ consent form template (WORD - 37.7 KB)
- Withdrawal of consent form template (WORD - 37.5 KB)
Frequently asked questions
To develop a more comprehensive farm biosecurity plan, additional resources, including Animal Health Australia’s farm biosecurity plan template, can be accessed via on Agriculture Victoria’s Farm biosecurity plan templates page.