The Victorian Farmers Federation is disappointed with the lack of consultation over the establishment of Animal Welfare Victoria.
The VFF said it supported a farming community that upheld the highest level of animal welfare and continued to advocate for good animal health and welfare outcomes.
VFF president David Jochinke said farm animal industries already adhered to quality assurance programs.
‘‘These programs involve extension, education and include monitoring and enforcement through commercial incentives and supplier obligations,’’ he said.
‘‘These industry activities are complementary to the regulatory controls and meet community and international expectations.
‘‘We reflect Australia’s position as a leader in modern, sustainable and scientifically-based welfare practices.’’
Mr Jochinke said the Victorian Government’s recent announcement to establish Animal Welfare Victoria would add more cost and more bureaucracy to a system that was already working.
‘‘Agricultural animal industries are already engaged with Agriculture Victoria and the state government on animal welfare through the Livestock Industry Consultative Committee (LICC),’’ he said.
‘‘Unfortunately the RSPCA walked away from this committee some time ago, and now it appears the state government is bowing to an activist agenda by establishing an entity that places all animals under the one umbrella.
‘‘Animal industries need to remain separated to achieve the best welfare outcomes.’’
The VFF is calling for further investment into LICC to generate scientific research that underpins legislation, protects access to overseas markets and reinforces Australia’s international leadership in farm animal welfare.