Agriculture Victoria will resume several key services in the coming weeks, which have been suspended in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as restrictions gradually ease across the state.
Chief Executive Emily Phillips said that Agriculture Victoria had continued to work closely with the agriculture sector and farming communities during restrictions to support them during the difficult time, including redesigning many services to be delivered online.
“We’ve continued to deliver many of our services during coronavirus, ensuring the safety of farmers while prioritising support for this important sector,” Dr Phillips said.
“This included ongoing services to support farmers impacted by bushfire across the North East and East Gippsland, and farmers who continue to be impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions across the state.”
Operations at Agriculture Victoria’s Pig Services Centre, based at Epsom, will resume from 15 June, including providing and accepting all orders for pig vaccine manufacturing and diagnostic services.
Designated fox and wild dog bounty collection centres will open from 29 June, operating in line with physical distancing requirements including established drop off and exclusion zones.
During the suspension period, bounty participants were encouraged to continue to collect fox scalps and wild dog body parts on private properties as part of pest control activities, and to freeze or air dry them.
Hunters are encouraged to refresh their knowledge of the terms and conditions of the bounty to ensure what they submit is acceptable. Participants can submit entire fox scalps for a $10 reward and entire wild dog body parts for a $120 reward during scheduled collection times.
With the gradual easing of restrictions, Victorians are still being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes their activities. Stay safe by practising good hygiene, keeping your distance from others and, if you feel unwell, stay home.
The coronavirus situation continues to change rapidly so please regularly check the Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest update: coronavirus.vic.gov.au.