Victorian Buffalo Industry Council

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History of Buffalo in Victoria

Swamp buffalo were first introduced to Victoria in the early 1970's. The first buffalo originated from Ban Ban Spring in the Northern Territory. Bob Steer was one of the early pioneers to graze buffalo here . In the early years there were large loses due to the harsh winter weather. It was concluded that swamp buffalo needed shelter from both the winter cold and the summer heat. A Western District farmer later imported Riverine Buffalo from Italy and Bulgaria to start a Buffalo Dairy for the making of specialised cheeses, yogurt and icecream. New breeders in Victoria are now introducing the Riverine breed to Victoria through A.I. programs and animals sourced from the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Today breeders are concentrating on breeding dairy type buffalo with meat being o by-product. The small group of members work together to promote the industry in southern parts of Australia with the following aims.

VicBIC is recommending all southern breeders consider Riverine and Riverine cross animals for their ability to handle climatic conditions (including drought) and the dual purposes for both meat and dairy products.

If you would be interested in joining the Victorian Buffalo Industry Council, please complete and return the membership application.

Keeping Buffalo In Victoria

Permits no longer required to keep buffalo in Victoria

In December 2017 The Governor-in-Council amended the declaration of water buffalo as a regulated pest animal under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act).

This meant that buffalo are no longer regarded as a pest animal in Victoria.

Permits are no longer required to keep water buffalo. You must however continue to meet livestock, animal welfare and disease management requirements under existing legislation to ensure these risks are managed appropriately.

The threat to primary production, Crown land, the environment or community health of feral and wild populations of water buffalo establishing in Victoria will continue to be regulated under the CaLP Act. Any feral and wild populations of water buffalo will continue to be subject to eradication efforts by government.

For more information on livestock management or to obtain a copy of the amended Order please visit Please contact Will de Milliano, Principal Policy Officer Invasive Species, on 03 9217 4313 or email with any queries.

VicBIC recommends good fencing with an electrical wire as standard good practice.


Page last updated on 06 May 2018.




Affiliated with the Australian Buffalo Industry Council