Animal welfare laws threaten Victorian fishing comps

VICTORIAN fishing clubs will have to comply with new animal welfare laws when running events or face penalties of up to $57,693.

A recent report in The Weekly Times said Victoria´s 300 angling clubs will be caught up in new animal welfare regulations, after the Allan Government failed to exempt fishing events from its new Animal Care and Protection Bill.

VRFish told The Weekly Times any club that runs an event, whether organised to raise money
or not, faces having to comply with new mandatory animal care regulations.

The Bill states “a person must not organise or arrange an event that wholly or partly involves animals in contravention of the regulations”, otherwise they face penalties of $11,539 for an individual or $57,693 for a body corporate.

VRFish chief executive Ben Scullin said the recreational fishing lobby “made it very clear (to government) that going fishing was not animal cruelty and that the current legislative exemption for recreational fishing under the POCTA was to be carried across into the new legislation”.

“This was our only requirement to support the new legislation,” Scullin said.

“VRFish won´t be supporting this Bill unless an exception for recreational fishing is provided.”

The Weekly Times reports that the government was asked if it would amend the bill to exclude fishing events. A spokeswoman said: “We encourage all Victorians, including anglers, to have their say as part of our comprehensive consultation process to ensure that this important Bill and its supporting regulations best reflect the expectations of Victorians.”

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