On Thursday 7th April Sam Davis (FSA President and CCBFA Vice President), Dr Stacey Gelis (Avian Veterinarian), David Renshaw (President VAC) and Dr Gary Fitt (NFSA Vice President) met with Minister Jaala Pulford's Chief of Staff Megan Berry to present the following paper on behalf of the membership of approximately 195 Victorian Avicultural clubs.
“Bird Shows, Sales and Auctions in Victoria: Frequency, Size, History, Welfare and Legislative Reality”
Download link - www.finchsociety.org/vic_bird_sale_paper.pdf
Discussion emphasised the lack of welfare issues at the frequent bird shows, sales and auctions held throughout Victoria and nationally for well over 100 years. It was agreed by all present that welfare of birds in our charge is paramount and that The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 is the legislative tool regulating captive bird welfare in Victoria. We presented facts highlighting the fallacy that the contentious Section 96 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 in any way protects the welfare of birds. Furthermore, lack of evidence to the contrary makes it clear Section 96 was enacted in ignorance of frequent bird shows, sales and auctions.
An undertaking was received from the Chief of Staff that Minister Pulford would respond within weeks to our recommendations to exempt “caged birds” from Section 96. Please note there is no guarantee the response will be in our favour.
The Chief of Staff will report back regarding the possibility of appointing an avian representative to the recently formed Victorian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC).
The Chief of Staff reaffirmed the Minister's previous undertaking to review Section 96 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994. This will occur in conjunction with other unrelated amendments to the Act which are currently being considered. At this time there is no consultation planned and no timeline for this undertaking hence the urgent need to exempt “caged birds” in the interim.
Thanks to the Minister’s office, in particular Chief of Staff Megan Berry, for Thursday’s meeting. We look forward to ongoing consultation as we work together to resolve the issue.
My appreciation to all who have contributed to the paper and for the many words of support and encouragement. See you at a sale soon!
Finch Society of Australia (FSA) President
Canary and Cage Bird Federation of Australia (CCBFA) Vice President