|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
A Veterinary Inspector appears to have been first appointed in the Department of Public Health on 10 June 1896 (Public Service Lists). By 1905 the duties of the Veterinary Inspector are listed as inquiry "into the healthiness of dairy cattle and into sanitary circumstances of dairies, slaughter-houses and butcher shops and into the wholesomeness of meat supplies" (Public Service Lists). It is evident that the sale of milk and butter was regulated at this time under the Health Act.
The Milk and Dairy Supervision Act 1905 (No.2011) provided for a greater regulation of milk, butter and cheese production and marketing. The Minister of Agriculture was vested with responsibility for administration of the Act by extension through local councils (see VRG 12) where necessary. A series of later Acts led to licensing and supervision of all types of milk, butter and cheese producers, and ultimately of many retailers. In many cases administration of these Acts was carried out through some form of departmental committee or statutory authority. From 22 January 1906 the Chief Veterinary Inspector became part of the Agriculture portfolio.
In 1919 a grant was made to the University of Melbourne for veterinary research which continued for many years.
The Agricultural portfolio also included the Veterinary Board of Victoria which registers veterinary surgeons working in Victoria.
The Department of Agriculture operated through a divisional structure. The Division of Animal Health formed early in 1966 from the former Livestock Division. The Division assumed responsibility for developing veterinary diagnostic services.
As at 1994 the Veterinary Services section of the Animal Standards Branch is currently responsible for the prevention, investigation, diagnosis and control of disease and chemical residues in stock and diseases transmissible from animals to humans, the management of Victoria's contribution to the national brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign and for the investigation of cruelty to farm animals.