Beverley McArthur MP

Member for Western Victoria Region

Media Statement




The Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur, used an adjournment debate today to call on the Attorney General to ‘stand up for farmers across Victoria to ensure the penalties for farm theft and biosecurity risk fit the serious crimes currently being perpetrated’.

Mrs McArthur emphasised the ‘evident inadequacy of the current laws and their implementation by the courts surrounding farm biosecurity, the repercussions for breaching them and the failure to deter or punish offenders.’

This became evident in the wake of recent events where one of the ‘malicious perpetrators’ of the theft of goats at the Gippy Goat Café late last year, was handed down two $1 fines for offences of removing an identifying ear tag from a goat and not having a Property Identification Code for her home where she was housing animals which she had fitted with nappies. Each of these offences carry maximum penalties of $9671.

Bev McArthur also noted further injustices in that the thief was ordered to pay a mere $250 compensation compared to the farmer’s estimated stock value of $2000, and that two other participants at Yarragon escaped conviction, receiving six month good behaviour bonds.

Mrs McArthur suggested that ‘clearly, these laws and their application offer no effective deterrent or punishment and are inadequate to ensure the proper protection of property and wellbeing of our farmers and their animals.’

‘Such court actions give a green light to criminals seeking to threaten and trespass on the livelihood, biosecurity, animal welfare and private property of farmers.’

These criminal actions come on top of the intrusive Aussie Farms Interactive Map identifying farms in Western Victoria Region and across Australia.

20 March 2019