Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud MP introduced legislative amendments on Thursday 24 May, to better protect live animals being exported. The amendments to the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 and the Export Control Act 1982 will better protect the welfare of exported livestock and put a stop to those who choose to cut corners for commercial advantage. “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,” Minister Littleproud said. "We want the financial and other penalties to be harsh enough to act as a deterrent instead of being viewed as the cost of doing business for some of these companies. Australian farmers, and the Australian public more broadly, deserve to know that our world leading animal welfare practices are well supported by legislation. “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.” Minister Littleproud concluded. For more information go to agriculture.gov.au/export-legislation Fast Facts: · A director of a guilty company could face 10 years prison or a fine of $2.1 million. An individual convicted under the same offence would face 10 years and $420,000 fine. · Other penalties will increase from the current 5 years prison and/or $63,000 fine for an individual to 8 years prison and/or $100,800 fine. For a company the fine will be increased from $315,000 to $504,000. · The new Bill, enables on-the-spot fines to be handed out for other breaches of export conditions. · Australia exported more than $1.4 billion worth of livestock in 2016-17 · Live animal exports support up to 10,000 jobs both directly and indirectly
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