A quick note can never do justice to the debt of gratitude that VRFish, rec fishers and industry owe AFTA for the shoulder your organisation lent to the issues and concerns surrounding the draft Animal welfare law.

Bob Baldwin’s efforts were both significant and effective in delivering the remedy we sought, namely the exemption of recreational fishing in all its forms of practice, and in particular Division 8 of Part 5 draft Animal Care and Protection Bill. 

From the first AFTA interactions on this issue, the reaction at the ministerial level down through bureaucracy shows AFTA holds a valuable and respected position. I cannot thank AFTA and Bob enough.

Please see below the “official” response to our concerns with the draft legislation. Should the Allan Labor government hold to their commitment and amend the Bill before it is sent into parliament, this will be a win of the highest calibre.

Ben Scullin

Executive Officer, Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body


Dear Mr Scullin,

Thank you for your query regarding the draft Animal Care and Protection Bill, and fishing activities related to Division 8 of Part 5.

Notwithstanding that the final form on the Animal Care and Protection Bill will be a matter for Government and ultimately Parliament, I confirm that:

  • It is not the intent of the draft Bill have any impact on recreational fishing competitions. Releasing an exposure draft of the legislation provides the opportunity for all stakeholders to raise any concerns with the proposed text of the Bill, including where there is a risk of misunderstanding, or unintended consequences.
  • DEECA will consider these matters in providing advice to Government on the final form of the Bill prior to its introduction to Parliament, including whether any amendments to the text of the Bill are required to ensure that there are no unintended consequences for fishing competitions.

This issue has been raised with us as part of the recent public consultation process on the draft Animal Care and Protection Bill and we are currently considering if any changes are required to the exception for activities authorised and permitted under Victoria’s Fisheries Act 1994 and supporting regulations to give effect to the intended policy outcome to exempt recreational fishing competitions from relevant offences.

Thank you again for your query.

Kind regards,

Dr Trevor Pisciotta (he/him)
Executive Director
Regulatory Policy & Programs
Animal Welfare Victoria
Agriculture Victoria
Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action