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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 269

Department of Agriculture: Serana (WA) Pty Ltd

(Question No. 567)

Ms MacTiernan asked the Minister for Agriculture, in writing, on 29 October 2014:

In respect of the matter of Serana (WA) Pty Ltd serums quarantined following his department's raid of Serena's Bunbury premises in December 2013, (a) can his department explain why no testing of the quarantined serum was made for two months, and then tested only after his department's failure to test was queried by the Court during the Federal Court proceeding, (b) when the test results on the quarantined Serana serum were returned showing no evidence of material from banned countries, did his department review the need to continue its aggressive investigation of this company, and (c) what was the outcome of the investigation into the serums.

Mr Joyce: The answer to the honourable member's question, is as follows:

(a) The department was willing to return all of the serum as soon as it could have confidence that the serum's provenance (where it was sourced from) meant it was unlikely to pose a threat to Australia's biosecurity. To achieve this, the department provided Serana the opportunity to establish provenance of labelled and unlabelled serum on numerous occasions. Serana subsequently failed to provide sufficient evidence to show that the serum came from countries recognised as free from foot and mouth disease. Following this the department sought out a test that, when combined with documentary evidence, provided sufficient assurances. Labelled serum held by the department was returned in accordance with court orders and the unlabelled serum was returned after the department received the test results. All physical property was returned by mid April 2014.

(b) It is not appropriate to comment on a current investigation.

(c) It is not appropriate to comment on a current investigation.