One Act, Many Changes
On 15 June 2022 a new bill was passed called the Agriculture Legislation Amendment Act 2022. This Act makes changes to 11 Acts which affect agricultural land production. It aims to improve ‘efficiency, operation, administration and enforcement’. 
Notably, this Act makes amendments to the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, Dairy Act 2000, Livestock Disease Control Act 1994, Meat Industry Act 1993 and Plant Biosecurity Act 2010.
This Act makes changes to the control of noxious weeds and pest animals and strengthens inspection and enforcements powers of authorised agents. The amendments create new offences and impose new requirements to address the risks which are occurring are an increased rate due to globalisation and expansion of trade.
The changes to the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 notably increase penalty to offences relating to the spread of noxious weeds except for regionally controlled and restricted weeds for which the penalty has been decreased. This extends to buying, selling, possessing, displaying, planting or propagating, transporting, removing or selling soil, gravel, stone or fodder or grain or moving a vehicle which may contain or have been exposed to such weeds. This also includes the sale, transport or removal of an animal or animal bedding which may contain the weeds. This does not apply to the sale of farm animals directly to a meat processing facility.
Permits may be applied for. This also requires a permit for the sale, release or keeping of a pest animal in Victoria. This also expands powers of entry, searches and requirements of documentation. Such plants subject to these legislative restrictions will be published in a government gazette.
The act ‘improves compliance and enforcement tools, creating new offences to underpin livestock … traceability through the supply chain and extending the clarifying the powers of inspectors.’ This Act establishes that cattle or livestock must be appropriately identified (eg by brand or tagged etc) for their sale, transportation and slaughter. No pigs or cattle can be kept on sewage land and it is an offence to sell exposed cattle or pigs. Beekeepers must also be registered. Meat must be sold in accordance with the packaging and processing requirements outlined and meat must not be sold or disposed of unless it is slaughtered at a meat processing facility. This is inclusive of game meat and includes gifting of meat. There are also new requirements on certain meat for consumption as pet food.
This act makes further changes to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992, Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, Farm Debt Mediation Act 2011, Rural Assistance Schemes Act 2016, Veterinary Practice Act 1997 and the Wildlife Act 1975.
There has been some, albeit limited, commentary on the practical effects of these changes. If you have any questions about how this Act may impact you, please contact our office for further, more tailored advice for you and your business.
https://hansard.parliament.vic.gov.au/search/?LDMS=Y&IW_DATABASE=*&IW_FIELD_ADVANCE_PHRASE=be+now+read+a+second+time&IW_FIELD_IN_SpeechTitle=Agriculture+Legislation+Amendment+Bill+2022&IW_FIELD_IN_HOUSENAME=COUNCIL&IW_FIELD_IN_ACTIVITYTYPE=Second+reading&IW_FIELD_IN_SittingYear=2022&IW_FIELD_IN_SittingMonth=May&IW_FIELD_IN_SittingDay=12  Ibid.
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This article is general in nature. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be taken as such.