The charges against Westpork Pty Ltd’s piggery in Gingin, Western Australia will be heard in the Perth Magistrates Court today.
The Westpork piggery has been charged with animal cruelty offences resulting from a breach of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. Mr. Ferguson is the general manager of Westpork and an Australian Pork Limited (APL) Director.
The Western Australian Department of Local Government has confirmed that more than thirty charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 have been placed against the Westpork piggery, which has been under investigation by the courts since January 2009. Further charges have been laid after a secondary investigation was conducted. The proponents have been specifically charged relating to animals suffering harm under the charge of a person(s) which could be alleviated by taking of reasonable steps (Sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002).
“As general manager for Westpork, Mr. Ferguson holds a highly accountable role in the current charges against the piggery,” states HSI director Verna Simpson. “It is wholly inappropriate for a person who has been charged with an animal cruelty offence to continue to be a representative on the board of the industry body. HSI has continued to call on APL to remove Mr. Ferguson from his position whilst he answers these serious charges, yet to date they have refused.”
The charges laid against Westpork are now the second time Mr. Ferguson has been involved in breaches against animal welfare legislation within two years.
“Now, with even more charges to be laid against Westpork and Neil Ferguson, HSI is keen to see justice served.”
The case is listed for hearing at the Perth Magistrates Court, Central Law Courts, 501 Hay Street at 10am (Perth local time), Court Room 55