Ballarat agent pleads guilty to falsely selling livestock as his own

A Ballarat livestock agent who falsely declared he was the owner of livestock sold at the Ballarat saleyards last year has pleaded guilty.

Charged with making a false declaration under the Stock Act 1993, the agent pleaded guilty to the single offence at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court and was placed on a six-month good behaviour bond without conviction.

Magistrate Gregory Robinson also ordered the man donate $750 to a charity.

Agriculture Victoria Animal Health Officer Rebecca Stacey said staff investigated the man after receiving a notification that a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) had not been received with a consignment of stock.

She said the agent had then falsely declared he was the owner of the livestock.

"The National Vendor Declaration subsequently provided, was inaccurate in detail pertaining ownership, dispatch address and heath status of the animals," she said.

"The importance of NVDs are to ensure food safety, trace-ability within the supply chain and particularly during a disease outbreak, as well as declarations as to the quality and health status of the livestock."

In handing down the sentence Mr Robinson said the accused, having worked in the industry for seven years, knew why the document was required and was aware of the purpose of trace-ability of stock and that providing false information was wrong.

He also told the man the system relied on honest input of information and if more people adopted a similar attitude then the system would fail.