First farm biosecurity breach fines issued

Farm biosecurity breaches: First $667.25 fines issued

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WOMAN CHARGED: Queensland Police have issued the first $667.25 on-the-spot fines for breaches of farm biosecurity regulations. Photo - DAF

WOMAN CHARGED: Queensland Police have issued the first $667.25 on-the-spot fines for breaches of farm biosecurity regulations. Photo - DAF

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A woman from Margate is the first person to be issued with a $667.25 fine for breaching farm biosecurity.

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THE first $667.25 fines have been issued for breaches of farm biosecurity regulations.

A 29 year old woman from Margate was charged on Friday with four counts of enter premises with intent to commit an indictable offence, as well as issued with two infringement notices.

These farm biosecurity infringements notices are the first to be issued in Queensland. Both carry a $667.25 fine.

The charges relate to the theft of chickens from a poultry farm near Warwick earlier this year, as well as the unlawful entry on two occasions of a piggery at Pittsworth.

The woman is due to appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on January 21.

The Margate woman is also one of four people charged with removing piglets from a piggery a Pittsworth.

The other three women - a 27 year old from Nudgee, a 21 year old from Alexandra Hills and a 21 year old from Petrie - were arrested and charged on Friday with enter with intent and stock stealing, as well as biosecurity offences.

Various appearance dates for the women include Redcliffe Magistrates Court on December 11 and Brisbane Magistrates Court on December 13.

The system of on-the-spot fines were introduced by the Palaszczuk government in response to extreme pressure from rural industry after invasions by activists at feedlots near Dalby, Millmerran and an abattoir at Yangan.

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Detective Acting Superintendent Troy Pukallus, Drug and Serious Crime Group, State Crime Command, said police were committed to ensuring the integrity of the food supply chain.

"The Queensland Police Service is committed to supporting Biosecurity Queensland and local industry in ensuring the integrity of the food supply chain is not compromised through the unlawful actions of issue-motivated individuals or groups," Detective Acting Superintendent Pukallus said.

"Any person who commits these types of offences will be prosecuted."

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said farms were complex and potentially dangerous environments.

"Unauthorised entry poses a risk to everybody concerned, as well as livestock and food safety," Mr Furner said.

"Everybody has the right to feel safe and protected in their workplace and in their homes.

"While this government supports the right to protest lawfully, it is not acceptable for people to go onto private and/or commercial property without authorisation no matter their cause."

AgForce chief executive officer Michael Guerin said $667.25 fines were manifestly inadequate are an effective deterrent for animal activities.

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