Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group

The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group has had many strong achievements for their members and Victorian producers.

We welcomed the ongoing investment in the eID tag price as the State Government rolls out the new electronic identification system. This will ensure eID tags in 2018 are available at a subside rate of 45 cents, and help Victoria’s sheep industry implement eID along the supply chain to provide consumers with a lifetime traceability guarantee. The subsidy will extend to all tag colours for 2018 as oppose to the year-by-colour subsidy in 2017 with positive grower uptake.

In May the Ararat City Council voted to abolish differential rating in favour of a uniform rate across all properties. Lobby by both Ararat community and the VFF lead to the State Government announcing they would hold a Commission of Inquiry into the Rural City of Ararat’s rating strategy. The VFF provided a valuable, insightful and articulate submission to the inquiry and saw a successful outcome for our farmers.

Throughout the year we have campaigned to raise the awareness of Q fever, an airborne disease carried by cattle, sheep and goats and other animals. The campaign saw significant media attention across Victoria and interstate, as well as a rise in public awareness. We have extended our concern of the price of the Q fever vaccination to the Minister for Agriculture and will continue to push subsidised vaccination.

The Group’s extension team, Livestock Health & Biosecurity VICTORIA, has secured funding for a dedicated project to improve the awareness and understanding among peri-urban landholders of their requirements as livestock owners. With two new staff joining the team in the New Year and led by producers, LHBV is in an exciting position to deliver key animal health, welfare and biosecurity information and tools for the benefit of Victorian livestock industries.

Funding from the Sheep and Goat, and Cattle, Compensation Funds also saw LHBV deliver events and present in collaboration with other industry stakeholders to over 2500 participants at 38 events in 2017. Events provided relevant national R&D with a practical local focus, including information on preventing exotic diseases, managing endemic diseases, importance of stock being fit-to-load and other welfare topics, using technology to assist traceable stock movements, monitoring and relevant record keeping.

An example of the value delivered by the two existing staff was the collaboration with Sheep Producers Australia, Cattle Council Australia and the Integrity Systems Company in the wake of the changes to the LPA program. LHBV delivered six interactive workshops getting producers up to speed on the changes, helping them develop practical farm biosecurity plans and understand their role in the bigger picture of disease surveillance and traceability.

LPA Producer Workshop

LHBV also continues to provide resources through social media and a website. Producers have access to current news and information, fact sheets, upcoming event information and link’s to relevant industry material, as well as a hotline for any related questions.