Victorian Agriculture Minister Gayle Tierney has been caught off guard today, failing to acknowledge the largest Avian Influenza outbreak that is spilling across a range of animals, with humans now at risk.
Under questioning in State Parliament today, Ms Tierney spoke of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease as immediate threats to the agriculture industry.
Yet, as the UK battles to bring Avian Influenza under control, Ms Tierney was oblivious to a disease that threatens to bring Victoria’s industry to a halt and cause an animal welfare catastrophe.
“This is a very real concern for Victoria’s $85 billion agriculture industry, yet the Minister failed to list the growing threat of Avian Influenza as a priority for her department,” Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Emma Kealy, said.
“Disappointingly, the Minister used the opportunity to grandstand on the management of the 2020 Avian Influenza outbreak that should not have occurred yet cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of productive and wild birds.
“Avian Influenza is a very real threat, and it is on Victoria’s doorstep.
“Victorian producers should have cause for concern that the Minister today sensationally dropped the ball when it came to addressing a major biosecurity risk.”