December 21, 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.
The director was fined $20,000 and placed on a three-year good behaviour bond. The company was also fined $100,000.
They were found guilty of 76 separate offences relating to “dealing with landed cargo in quarantine” contrary to Section 44B(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.
It was identified the containers were instead 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.
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 our $5.3 billion pork industry.