The Shepparton Bird Expo and Sale will go ahead as planned later this year after an exemption from the Victorian Government was gazetted last week.
As reported in Country News in November, the annual sale was in jeopardy over rulings in the Domestic Animals Act 1994 that were being more heavily enforced.
But with the Puppy Farms and Pet Shops Bill amendment being scrapped in December, the result was positive for the Goulburn Valley Branch of the Avicultural Society of Australia’s major sale.
‘‘All our events are in the autumn and through to winter. We were pushing hard to get the exemption in place before this stage,’’ Goulburn Valley Branch of the Avicultural Society of Australia secretary and Victorian Avicultural Council secretary Ron Hicks said.
He said the exemption was in place as long as it took to rewrite the amendment, which would now cover all domestic animals, not just dogs and cats.
‘‘It’s an open-ended exemption with no finalisation date until they (the Victorian Government) write it up — then it (the exemption) becomes obsolete.’’
Mr Hicks said the groups he was involved in expected the rewrite would take ‘‘some time’’ with the dog component of the amendment taking most of the time.
‘‘We are expecting it to take 18 months to two years. The dog aspects are much more complex than the birds and it will take some time to rewrite the bill.
‘‘We will ensure there is good consultation and workable outcomes this time. (Last time) there was too many people involved and too much red tape.
‘‘Why complicate something that doesn’t need complicating.’’
■The Goulburn Valley Branch of the Avicultural Society of Australia’s major sale will be held on Sunday, May 21 from 10am at the Shepparton Showgrounds.
■The conditions for having the sale are set out in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the Victorian Government’s Code of Practice for the Housing of Caged Birds and the Victorian Avicultural Council’s Code of Practice for Bird Sales.