Australian firm charged with allegedly importing pig semen illegallyAustralian firm charged with allegedly importing pig semen illegally
These imports can also increase the risk of African swine fever arriving in Australia.
October 29, 2018
Source: Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
A Western Australia pork operation, along with its manager and an employee, face charges relating to illegally importing pig semen over a number of years. GD Pork Pty Ltd and the two individuals have been charged with aggravated illegal importation offenses under the Biosecurity Act and Quarantine Act.
The case was first uncovered in January 2017 and has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Australia Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
There are no food safety or ongoing biosecurity concerns associated with the case. The biosecurity risks have been effectively managed and there is no impact on the safety of Australian pork or animal health.
Illegal imports of pig genetics can carry significant risks. This includes porcine reproduction and respiratory syndrome and foot-and-mouth disease. It has been estimated that FMD could cost Australia around $50 billion over a decade if it was to arrive there.
These imports can also increase the risk of African swine fever arriving in Australia. This disease has no known cure and is another major threat to their $5.3 billion pork industry.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources says there are specific conditions for the import of animal genetic material and breaches of these conditions will not be tolerated.
Currently the maximum penalty in Australia for an “illegal importation to obtain a commercial advantage” is 10 years jail and/or 2000 penalty units ($420,000). For a corporation the maximum penalty is 10000 penalty units ($2.1 million).
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