Girgarre fowled by Labor's bird brained legislation
02 December 2016
Friday 2 December 2016
Labor has introduced legislation into the Victorian Parliament that will likely spell the end of bird clubs and the popular chook auction at the Girgarre farmers' market.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill would require all bird clubs or community groups to get a permit every time they wished to hold a sale.
Under Labor's legislation, a permit for a bird sale can only be obtained after a council officer has conducted an assessment and written a report which must be submitted to the state government for approval. The application must be made at least 21 days before every sale.
A veterinary officer must also inspect the sale beforehand and be present for its duration. Breaching any of the conditions of the permit would result in individuals being fined more than $9000 and body corporates more than $23,000.
Chooks, ducks, pigeons, budgies and quail are all sold at Girgarre poultry auction which is run by the local recreation reserve committee and is held five times a year as part of the Girgarre Farmers and Produce Market. All proceeds are invested back into local community infrastructure.
"The chance of a small community like Girgarre being able to get a vet to stand at the auction on a Sunday is slim. Even if they can, it will be so costly it will eat any money the auction itself raises. And that's not factoring in permit fees which could run to hundreds of dollars per sale," Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said last year Girgarre's poultry auction raised about $7,500 for the local recreation reserve, money that was invested back into upgrading facilities.
"Raising money in small communities is a tough job. The Andrews Government is robbing the Girgarre community of an attraction they have worked hard to create to bring people together and raise some money for local projects at the same time," Ms Ryan said.
"This is bureaucracy gone made. The government has been captured by animal liberationists who are seeking to impose so much red tape that events like these will be impossible."
Some 195 bird clubs around the state who breed birds to improve the species would also suffer as a result of the changes.
"Many of these clubs, whether for racing or show pigeons, canaries, budgerigars, finches, parrots or some other kind of bird, hold an annual sale in order to raise funds to support their club," Ms Ryan said.
The Nationals have forced the legislation to a Parliamentary committee for scrutiny, with a report expected to be tabled early next week.