$120,000 fine for serious biosecurity breaches over imported meat

Beef Central, 21/12/2018

A BRISBANE company and its director have been fined a total of $120,000 for biosecurity breaches associated with the transport and storage of imported uncooked pig meat during 2014 and 2015.

The case was heard at Brisbane District Court last week with the director fined $20,000 and placed on a three year good behaviour bond. The company itself was fined $100,000, after being found guilty of 76 offences relating to “dealing with landed cargo in quarantine” contrary to s44B(3) of the Quarantine Act 1908.

The company was required to transport the imported containers directly to an approved arrangement site or to the processing facility of the importer, to ensure effective biosecurity control was maintained. Instead, the containers were being stored at a non-approved site and in contravention of directions issued by the department.

These actions could have exposed Australia’s agricultural industries, environment and the community to serious biosecurity risk, the Department of Agriculture said. Pig meat can carry foot and mouth disease, which could cost Australia around $50 billion over a decade if it was to arrive here.

It can also carry African Swine Fever (ASF) which has no known cure. While ASF is harmless to humans, it is currently spreading throughout Asia and Europe and is a major threat to Australia’s $5.3 billion pork industry.

“Biosecurity directions are issued for a reason. Importers and those within supply chains must comply. The department welcomes the strong penalties handed down by the court,” a DAWR statement said.

It sends a clear message that breaches of Australia’s biosecurity conditions will not be tolerated.


Source: DAWR


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  1. Paul Franks, 22/12/2018

    They are lucky they did not do anything serious like kill some trees, like that grazier in Queensland that cleared some firebreaks and got fined near a million dollars.

  2. Leo McMahon, 22/12/2018

    Re article on Imported Meat why hasn’t the company been named?

    For whatever reason, the DAWR press release chose not to identify the company, Leo. We considered making some inquiries ourselves, but with Christmas approaching, time beat us this time. Editor

  3. Sandra Baxendell, 22/12/2018

    Too small a penalty – think of all the goats sheep cattle alpacas and even zoo animals put at risk. Directors need jail time and company a much larger fine.

  4. Ron Chappell, 21/12/2018

    Call me old fashioned, but it seems to me that to allow the importation of meat from any known source of contaminating diseases is just plain stupid. I would go so far as to say if it is illegal it bloodywell should be.

  5. David Lovelock, 21/12/2018

    Without knowing the specific risks of this conduct , the total fine seems small compared to the potential costs of introduced diseases eg. FMD and ASF. The cost of $100,000 may just be seen as a cost rather than a deterrent.

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