Support services in place for food producers

meat-5Farms and agribusinesses are continuing to keep Victorian supermarkets stocked and food on tables through the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Chief Executive Dr Emily Phillips said Agriculture Victoria was working hard to support farmers and the Victorian community through this difficult time.

“Farmers, particularly those impacted by bushfires, drought and dry seasonal conditions and other challenges, should be reassured that support and services will continue to be delivered,” Dr Phillips said.

“We have been working hard to deliver and, where needed, redesign our services to ensure the safety of farmers and the people who live and work in our rural and regional communities.

“Your safety is our number one priority at this time.”

“Many of our workshops and events will now be delivered by phone or via a digital platform, including our seasonal climate outlooks, the autumn livestock webinar series starting in May, and our financial literacy program which will be available soon.”

“We will continue to provide our usual compliance and biosecurity services but with modifications to ensure your safety, and the safety of our staff.”

In recent weeks the Fox and Wild Dog Bounty collection centres have been operating with changes to enable physical distancing which included establishing drop off and exclusion zones.

The bounty program will continue; however collection events will be suspended from 30 March 2020.

Hunters are strongly encouraged to continue to collect fox scalps and wild dog skins within their properties during the suspension of collection events.

These pieces can be frozen or dried and submitted for reward when the fox and wild bounty collection schedule resumes, in line with bounty terms and conditions.

Arrangements have been made with a private company to enable us to continue to provide pig vaccine manufacturing and diagnostic services when the Pig Services Centre suspends its services from Friday 27 March.

The Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) program has rescheduled all visits while schools are closed. Animal Welfare Victoria will continue to work closely with schools and preschools to resume the program once schools re-open and the restrictions on non-essential travel and physical distancing allow.

Animal Welfare Victoria is also exploring options to deliver the key dog safety messages live via online learning to maintain the interactive components of the program.

-Agriculture Victoria

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