PMWS - Australia - latest news
- From: "Pat Gardiner" <patgardiner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 18:02:49 +0000 (UTC)
I have been away for a few days, wallowing in luxury, watching surfers,
dickering with publishers and dodging British fuel protests.
Things are on the move. Can I remind you of the Australian PMWS situation?
The Australian and Canadian governments together with Canadian farmers want
to continue to export Canadian (and US) pork to Australia.
They are right.
The Australian Farmers and the Australian Courts want to stop imports using
the possibility that PMWS might thereby be introduced.
They are wrong.
For the last couple of months the Australian Government vets have been
trying to decide whether they do or do not have PMWS already. It seems to be
taking an eternity. The New Zealanders did it quicker, and found that they
If the Australians have PMWS, there is no point in upsetting the Americans
and Canadians. Anyway pork is much less of a risk than live pigs or semen.
Australia almost certainly do have the disease, despite the reluctance to
admit it. They claim to be still waiting results. The problem outstanding
is "Where did they get it from?"
If they admit they have PMWS in Australia, their government veterinarians
are on the rack.
Did they let in any British breeding stock since 1999? Was it certified
Be interesting if it was. In 2005 it takes months for the Australians to
find out of their pigs are sick with PMWS, but in 1999 to 2005, British vets
could certify pig exports healthy, despite the world's worst outbreak of
PMWS. (The only British pig health testing station was closed..PMWS
infection.) The British government was encouraging the export of pigs during
Britain's veterinary industry, and especially Britain's government
veterinarians, are crooks. They have signed themselves into an international
Britain will have to reinvestigate the PMWS (1999) Classical Swine Fever
(2000) and FMD (2001) outbreaks: properly this time, with the writer as an
enthusiastic witness to animal health abuses and corruption on a massive
Anyway, here is the news from Australia.
Federal Court backs pork quarantine
September 16, 2005 - 7:00PM
The full bench of the Federal Court has saved the federal government from
serious questions about the nation's quarantine system that could have
threatened Australia's international trading system.
The court upheld an appeal by the nation's quarantine service against an
initial court decision which blocked imports of pig meat from countries with
a disease not found in Australia.
Australian Pork Ltd had initially won the ruling over a ban being imposed
earlier this year after Justice Murray Wilcox found major problems in an
import risk analysis (IRA) that had cleared the way for pork imports.
Pork producers feared the quarantine service ignored evidence that if
imported pork was allowed, it would bring with it the disease Postweaning
Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS).
The syndrome wipes out piglets, but the disease is not yet in Australia.
(Pat's Note: Bull****: they are still waiting the results of tests!!!)
But justices Peter Heerey and Bruce Lander said that the court had no power
to overrule the initial IRA, even if there were problems with the report
which was compiled by an independent scientific panel.
They found, "that process involved fact finding and the making of value
judgments and risk assessments in a complex scientific setting. The good
faith and scientific competence of those engaged in the task is not in
"While there is room for debate as to some aspects of the IRA report, the
panel did not carry out its task irrationally or unreasonably.
"The court is not empowered to adjudicate on the factual correctness or
otherwise of the IRA report."
Justice Catherine Branson, while supporting the quarantine service, said
Justice Wilcox had been confronted with evidence that showed the quarantine
service had not evaluated the risk of the spread of PMWS.
"The (service) did not evaluate the probability of PMWS being introduced,
established or spread in Australia if the permit were granted," he found.
"Further, the (service) did not consider whether, if the permit were
granted, the imposition of conditions on it would be necessary to limit the
level of quarantine risk to one that is acceptably low."
Australian Pork Ltd director Paul Higgins expressed disappointment at the
ruling, saying the organisation may consider a High Court appeal.
He said there were a number of worrying aspects in the findings of the
various judges, who in some cases had suggested speculation was needed to
determine Australia's appropriate level of quarantine protection.
"We now have the situation where we have two Federal Court judges, Justice
Wilcox and Branson, finding the quarantine arrangements for pigmeat unlawful
and Justice Heerey and Lander finding those arrangements to be lawful," he
said in a statement.
Australian Pork Ltd now has 28 days whether to seek special leave to appeal
© 2005 AAP
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