The Federal Government has announced tougher penalties for live exporters who breach animal welfare standards.
Amendments to the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997 and the Export Control Act 1982 will see those who break the law face up to 10 years in jail, according to Federal Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud.
“I want to make sure that the punishment matches the crime and under new laws if exporters don’t meet animal welfare obligations they face up to 10 years in prison,” he said.
“Companies who look to profit from dodgy practices will be slapped with a fine of $4.2 million, three times the benefit gained by the company or 10 per cent of the company’s turnover–whichever is greater.
“A director of a guilty company could face 10 years in prison or a fine of $2.1 million.”
The Minister said he wanted the financial and other penalties to be harsh enough to act as a deterrent instead of being viewed as the cost of doing business.
“The horrific footage we witnessed recently makes it clear standards have been ignored by some in the industry and animals have suffered terribly as a consequence—that won’t happen again under my watch,” he said.
“Livestock exports are an important business option for our farmers. Australian farmers, and the Australian public more broadly, deserve to know that our world leading animal welfare practices are well supported by legislation.
“The Coalition Government is showing its commitment to the livestock export trade and that sub-standard practices will not be tolerated now, or in the future.
“Australia is a proud exporter of high quality, clean produce that meets extremely high standards set by our international trading partners, and the changes being introduced to the current and future export legislation will ensure our reputation remains firmly intact.”
The story Live exporters to face 10 years jail for welfare breaches first appeared on Farm Online.