As a Government, we take animal welfare and compliance with the State’s animal welfare legislation very seriously. We are a strong supporter of initiatives that promote and maintain animal welfare in the State and penalties for cruelty are significant.
Any reports of animal cruelty will be taken very seriously, and Biosecurity Tasmania and the RSPCA have formal arrangements in place for responding to and investigating animal cruelty allegations.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government has toughened the laws and increased the penalties under the Animal Welfare Act 1993. A person found guilty of aggravated cruelty can now be sentenced to up to 5 years' imprisonment and/or fined up to 200 penalty units (currently approximately $30,000). A corporation can be fined up to 5 times this amount.
I am aware that the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority, as the regulator, is investigating and managing effluent issues identified at Van Dairy Ltd farms. The Environment Protection Authority is also involved.
This is a matter for the regulators, and I cannot provide further comment as this process involves active directions and potential compliance actions.
The Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority continues to work with the company, the EPA, and other authorities to ensure compliance.
If a member of the public sees or witnesses any animal welfare issues, this can be reported to the RSPCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 139 947.