The West

A piggery near Gingin has been fined $225,000 for not euthanising 10 sick pigs.

Westpork received the fine in Perth Magistrate's Court today after the pork producer pleaded guilty to 10 charges relating to breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

The charges were laid by the Department of Local Government in January 2011 after inspections of Westpork's "grow out" facility the year before.

The charges alleged the 10 sick animals should have been euthanised sooner rather than be treated.

Westpork Chairman Dr Robert Wilson said the charges did not allege neglect but related to the management decisions taken to care for the animals.

John Ruprecht from the Department of Agriculture and Food said the case served as a reminder to industry about the importance of adhering to animal welfare standards.

“The result sends a clear message to the commercial sector that it needs to put appropriate systems, processes and training in place to ensure all livestock are managed and treated appropriately,” Mr Ruprecht said.

“That means businesses have to plan to incorporate and maintain animal welfare practices and standards as part of their overall operation.”

Dr Wilson said all the animals had been earlier identified by staff and segregated for treatment or ongoing monitoring as set down in the Care of the Compromised Pig Guide.

Dr Wilson said the charges did not allege neglect but related to the management decisions taken to care for the animals.

“It is unfortunate that these animals were not euthanised earlier," he said in a statement.

Mr Ruprecht said inspections had been done since the charges were laid and the department was satisfied the pork producer had addressed the animal welfare concerns and put appropriate systems in place.

Dr Wilson said Westpork farms operated under the Australian Pork Industry Quality Program and were managed under a veterinarian-approved Herd Health Plan administered by trained stockmen.

He said all farms were independently audited for quality assurance three times a year.

Westpork was also ordered to pay $21,000 costs.

The West Australian

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