AUSTRALIA - A New South Wales business owner has pleaded guilty to deliberately circumventing Australia’s biosecurity laws, receiving fines and a suspended sentence in the Sydney District Court last week.
First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture's Compliance Division, Raelene Vivian, said the company illegally imported pork and chicken products into Australia by deliberately mislabelling the contents of shipping containers.
“Naruone Pty Ltd has received fines totalling $100,000 for illegally importing pork dumplings, steaks, whole chickens, sausages and other products into Australia,” Ms Vivian said.
“The company’s owner, Mr Hyung Park, received a three year suspended sentence for deliberately mislabelling the import documents as he knew the products were not permitted in Australia.
“The Department of Agriculture provides training courses to help importers comply with Australian laws and when they are ignored, we take decisive action.
“Mr Park, as owner of Naruone Pty Ltd, had received training and held quarantine accreditation, which comes with the responsibility for ensuring the integrity of Australia’s biosecurity system is maintained. Mr Park has paid the consequences for failing to take his responsibility seriously.”
Mr Park and Naruone Pty Ltd were charged with offences under the Quarantine Act 1908 and the Imported Food Control Act 1992.
Ms Vivian said Australia enjoys freedom from many harmful pests and diseases that occur in other parts of the world.
"One of the risks associated with pork products is Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) which, should it become established in the country, has been estimated to cost Australia around $50 billion over a decade.
"We work off-shore, at the border and on-shore to manage biosecurity risks and any threat to the integrity of Australia's biosecurity or quarantine process is vigorously pursued."
This prosecution is one of a series stemming from Operation Hayride, which has seen 7 individuals and 5 corporate entities receive convictions, and fines totalling $240,000 for offences relating to the illegal importation of food products to date. Further prosecutions are yet to be completed.ThePoultrySite News Desk