Border Biosecurity Protects $4 Billion Industry Integrity

AUSTRALIA - Queensland’s farm group AgForce urges producers to be aware of their responsibilities when buying livestock from interstate after the Goondiwindi Magistrates Court last week handed down $114,000 in fines to five people.
calendar icon 15 June 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

AgForce Cattle director Ian Harsant, who chairs the Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad (SARCIS) consultative committee, said the massive fines were applied after the individuals were found guilty of breaching the Stock Act 1915 by introducing stock into Queensland without a health certificate.

"This is the biggest collective fine for this offence in Queensland and it highlights the seriousness of ensuring that correct permits are used when making a stock transaction,” Mr Harsant said.

“While such a fine may seem large to many people, we must look at it in the context of the threat that it posed to the Queensland beef industry.

“Queensland’s livestock are worth more than $4 billion to the economy and any threats to the viability of this sector cannot be underestimated.

“These cattle came from a Bovine Johne's Disease infected herd – a disease which Queensland is free from.

“This is why AgForce supports this action from Biosecurity Queensland and the decision by the legal system – we cannot have our industry’s integrity threatened by the actions of a few individuals,” Mr Harsant said.

All stock entering Queensland – unless going direct to an approved abattoir – must be accompanied by a Queensland health certificate/waybill. It is an offence not to produce this document when asked by a Biosecurity Officer and these must be kept for two years.

According to the Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland the breaches related to two different consignments of cattle totalling 198 beasts which were moved from NSW into Queensland in March 2009.

Three parties were also charged with introducing a prescribed species into Queensland relating to cattle from a Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) infected herd. BJD is a chronic, wasting disease in cattle caused by bacteria.

More information about the entry requirements for cattle to be brought into Queensland can be found at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.

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