Bird club representatives attended a productive consultation meeting with Ministerial Adviser Jadon Mintern and senior DEDJTR officials in the offices of the Victorian Minister for Agriculture at 1:30pm on 15/6/2017. The following bird group representatives attended - Samuel Davis (CCBFA) via Video Link, Ron Hicks and Dean Rowlands (Victorian Avicultural Council), Colin Flannagan, James Smith and Martin Paoli (Budgerigar Council of Victoria), David White (National Finch and Softbill Association), apologies were received from Charles Hider (Victorian Pigeon Racing Federations).
The business of the meeting centred on assessing the government’s proposed Domestic Animals Act 1994 amendment to permanently exempt trading of birds by recognised bird clubs from Section 96. If you recall the current Section 96 makes it illegal to sell birds outside of pet shops or private residences. This amendment aims to ensure bird clubs can continue sales and other trading events into the future. The proposal is in principle similar to the amendment bird clubs first put to the Minister on 26/10/2016 (reproduced below) with two significant differences.
1. Bird clubs register as a declared bird organisation – a one off process. This may be done by individual clubs or on their behalf by representative bodies.
2. Notification of sale events is direct to the department (DEDJTR) rather than relevant council. Notification is a simple list of club events where birds may be traded – sales, shows, meetings. Amendment put to Minister 26/10/2016 INSERT the following into section 96 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994— "(ac) unless the sale is organised by an incorporated association whose purpose includes the welfare of the animals to be sold and the relevant council has been notified of date/time and location of the sale at least 14 days prior; or".
All parties agree there will be no animal sale permits required for bird clubs, no approval process and no additional regulation of events by government. Both the original and proposed amendment prevent the sale of animals at “car boot” style sales whilst allowing bird clubs to operate as they have done for hundreds of years, solving the Minister’s concern regarding the original intent of Section 96. Final detail of the proposed amendment and its implementation is still to be negotiated and finalised. All parties have committed to ongoing consultation.
Report Written by Sam Davis, Vice President - Canary and Caged Bird Federation of Australia Inc. (CCBFA)