Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pullford called a consultation meeting for 10 avicultural representatives to be held on Monday 16th January at Parliament House. Among those asked to attend was our President David Renshaw and Treasurer Lou Dall'Est who was also representing the ASA.
Below is a report from David Renshaw, President VAC
Summary of meeting:
The following representatives were present at the meeting:
Charles Hider (Solicitor representing Pigeon Racing Federation), Peter Holt (concerned aviculturalist), David White (Secretary MPAS), David Over(President MPAS), Sam Davis (VP Canary & Cage Bird Federation of Australia), Colin Flanagan (President Budgerigar Council of Victoria), James Smith (Secretary Budgerigar Council of Victoria), Lloyd Marshall (NFSA), Lou Dall’est (President ASA & Treasurer VAC) & Myself.
The group all met at 12 noon in a room in Parliament House organised by Sam Davis (Thanks Sam). The purpose of the meeting was to agree on the outcomes that we wanted to achieve from our meeting at 2 pm with the Minister.
All parties agreed that we would focus on the following based on the recommendations from the Parliamentary Inquiry:
Recommendation 18: That the Government provide an exemption for all bird clubs from Section 96 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 in the interim period while the Amendment Bill is being reformulated, thus allowing them to continue current Sales practices at Sales & Events in 2017.
Recommendation 15: That the Government remove the words “caged birds” from the definition of the Pet Shop in the Act.
Recommendation 17: That Victorian Aviculture approved events be allowed to continue to sell Non-Native Birds.
At the Ministerial meeting all these points were discussed including amnesties, letters of exception with the Minister and she undertook to come back with answers to the groups by:
1. End of February 2017 re enabling us to sell Non-Native birds at our Bird Sales, Shows & Events for 2017. It was pointed out that the first of these events start in March.
2. By the end of first half of the year - Proposed to re-submit the amendment bill regarding new legislation to enable us to sell/trade our Non-Native birds in the future. Minister to come back to groups prior to submitting the legislation.
The Minister asked each of the participants to give their point of view which was extremely pleasing. I must say it was an extremely positive meeting and the Minister was prepared to listen and understand that we as aviculturalists have one KEY focus and that is the welfare of our birds.
The Permit system was briefly discussed but our main focus was resolving the issues pertaining to the legislation. Once again the Minister undertook to talk to her policy advisers and legal team to see how she can resolve the issue.
Regards, David Renshaw