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  • Writer's pictureDale Webster

Horse owners to be impacted by biosecurity law changes


ABOVE: Horse owners have until October 9 to make sure they are taken into account in law reforms.

HORSE owners in Victoria have one month to comment on a discussion paper released as part of the process to develop new biosecurity legislation for the state.


With horses defined as “livestock” under state law, any changes to will directly impact all horse owners and those involved in the equine industry, for work or pleasure.


The Government is considering which laws to retain from the current Livestock Management Act 2010 and Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 as well as looking at new ways it can work with industry and the community to manage biosecurity risk.


Equestrian Victoria chairperson Christie Freeman has urged horse owners around the state to have a say to make sure the sector is not left out of future discussions.


“We would encourage all equestrians and recreational horse people to read the proposals and participate in the survey,” she said.


“It is important that we put our perspective not only to enhance biosecurity but also to influence changes to legislation that can have significant consequences for our sport.”


The discussion paper asks for feedback on three key topics, identified through previous consultation with industry, community stakeholders and partners:

  • What does reformed biosecurity legislation look like?

  • How can reformed legislation clarify roles and responsibilities for biosecurity?

  • What new tools for managing biosecurity risk should be included in legislation?

“Your feedback will help confirm the priorities for the reform of Victoria’s biosecurity legislation,” the Engage Victoria website states.


“Feedback received will also inform the development of policy proposals for the reform.”

There are two ways to contribute to the consultation process. Written submissions are being accepted until October 9, but there is also a survey that can be completed online.


The survey asks broad questions but there is an option to list particular concerns about how the changes may impact horse owners or organisers of equestrian events in the “other” section underneath each section.


The government says this is the first step in the reform process and feedback on policy proposals that come from it will be sought in 2023.




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