Page 1135 - Week 04 - Thursday, 17 March 2005

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of stock for a defined period. This control can be used, for example, on the diagnosis of foot and mouth disease anywhere in Australia or as a precautionary measure if a foot and mouth disease infection was strongly suspected. It would reduce the vectors of transmission of the disease while the source and likely areas of infection were identified.

The Animal Diseases Bill will provide for the prevention and control of exotic and endemic diseases by installing appropriate disease management practices. For example, a person who has reasonable grounds for believing that an animal is infected with an exotic disease or endemic disease commits an offence if they sell, move, dispose, bury, hide or otherwise attempt to suppress evidence of the animal. This will be in line with similar provisions in the New South Wales Stock Diseases Act and will ensure that animal diseases are disclosed to maximise the opportunity to deal with the disease and prevent losses to the wider community through the spread of the disease.

Finally, a few administrative amendments will ensure that the definition of “tags” and “infected” is updated to take account of new technology and new diseases. The amendments will also provide for a system of compulsory vendor declaration that requires those selling stock to indicate chemicals and antibiotics used on the animals prior to sale and to provide a statement as to the health of animals to be sold. This is very important for disease control.

The amendments will also adjust the compensation provisions to more closely conform to national cost-sharing arrangements and to treat endemic and exotic diseases in the same way. The restrictions on feeding meat products to ruminants will be moved from the Stock Act to the Animal Diseases Act. Additional controls are provided to ensure that compounded stock feed is appropriately labelled to ensure that components with health or disease implications are appropriately identified.

A related matter is the Stock Bill 2005, which, as I have indicated, I will also be tabling today. The Stock Bill will replace the Stock Act 1991 by updating it and including key parts of the Pounds Act 1928. The amendments will allow the government to take effective action to deal with straying stock. They will remove the ambiguities associated with what to do with straying stock and how to handle stock that trespass onto public or private land. They will also allow for the recovery of costs associated with the management of straying stock. Processes for authorising the movement of travelling stock and the registration of marks also will be updated to ensure that appropriate records are maintained for disease tracking purposes.

In March 2000 the Animal Diseases Act, the Stock Act and the Pounds Act were assessed under the national competition policy review. This review found that the legislation served a benefit to the community that outweighed any impacts arising from the restriction on competition. The review also considered the potential for reforms to improve the operation of these acts and the two bills that I am introducing today address those matters.

Mr Speaker, I commend the Animal Diseases Bill 2005 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

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