PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On JUL 13, 2018
AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT CONCEDES DEFEAT IN FEDERAL COURT LIVE EXPORT CASE
The Federal Department of Agriculture has admitted that decisions granting a permit to Emanuel Exports to export 58,000 Australian sheep to the Middle East in June were made unlawfully.
In the course of preparing for the highly-anticipated Federal Court trial, the Department has conceded that the export permit it granted to Emanuel Exports was invalid due to the official granting the permit not having the delegated authority to do so.
"This admission of legal error by the Department heightens existing concerns about their ability to regulate the live export trade," said Animals Australia's Legal Counsel, Shatha Hamade.
"That a Department currently under review could allow 58,000 sheep to be exported on the basis of a legally-flawed export permit decision adds to their litany of regulatory failures."
Animals Australia was to argue a number of significant legal grounds in this case, including that the required animal welfare standards cannot be met during live sheep voyages to the Middle East in the Northern summer months, and thus, that this export permit should not have been granted.
"Animals Australia continues to believe that required animal welfare standards cannot be met on sheep shipments during the Northern summer. As such, we will not hesitate to challenge other Department decisions that we believe are not compliant with the regulatory regime. "
The conduct and the ability of the Department of Agriculture to regulate the live trade has been under intense scrutiny since evidence of systemic breaches of regulations, and the routine suffering of sheep at sea, were exposed.
"The Department has the responsibility of making regulatory decisions that affect the lives and welfare of hundreds of thousands of animals. It is now clearer than ever that this role must be removed from them," said Ms Hamade.
The Court Orders will require the Department to pay Animals Australia’s legal costs.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Chalk | | 0488 006 478
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