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Export licence at risk as Tasmanian Quality Meats faces animal welfare allegations

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Image / Tasmanian Quality Meats

Tasmanian Quality Meats (TQM) could lose their export licence, potentially resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs, after damming footage allegedly caught staff at their Cressy plant breaching animal welfare regulations.

The meat processing plant have been served with a draft notice from the Federal Government to suspend their export licence, which they say will cause “devastating flow-on impacts” to 200 workers and the wider Tasmanian agricultural sector.


Animal advocacy group Farm Transparency Project released hidden camera footage from the TQM plant and four others across the state in what they’re calling a “comprehensive and damning indictment of the state’s animal welfare regulators”.

“The footage shows the slaughter of sheep, cows, deer, pigs and week-old ‘bobby calves’ from the dairy industry,” the group say.

The Farm Transparency Project have confirmed they captured the footage at the Cressy plant. Image / Supplied

“Farm Transparency Project is working with Australia’s foremost animal protection group, Animals Australia, to launch a formal inquiry into animal slaughter in Tasmania and are pushing for the closure of all five facilities.”

TQM owner Jake Oliver said the activists “illegally accessed” their facility between August and September and installed “a number of hidden cameras”, before “providing the illegally obtained footage to the Government”.

Jake Oliver from Tasmanian Quality Meats

“As a result, last Thursday we were made aware of the footage and on Friday we received a notice of intention from the Federal Department of Agriculture, threatening to suspend our export licence and giving us only seven days to respond,” Oliver said.

“I would like to stress that we condemn all mistreatment of animals in the strongest possible terms. It is utterly unacceptable and fails to meet the high standards TQM expects.”


He said the business was a “proud family run” one that has since taken steps to address the allegations raised by the release of the video footage, including appointing an animal welfare officer, increased quality assurance monitoring and implementing a zero-tolerance policy.

“A suspension of our export licence would have a catastrophic impact on our business and staff and Tasmania’s entire agricultural sector,” Oliver said.

The Farm Transparency Project have confirmed they captured the footage at the Cressy plant. Image / Supplied

“A suspension could force TQM to shut down … This would be devastating for families across Cressy and Longford who would be left without an income at Christmas, and would result in the loss of many valuable foreign workers.”

TQM is the only export accredited processor in the state, meaning farmers would be left with nowhere to process their livestock if they were to shut down.

The Farm Transparency Project have confirmed they captured the footage at the Cressy plant. Image / Supplied

The company says they are “more than willing to cooperate fully with a formal and fair investigative process into the allegations made by the animal activists”.

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and Water Janie Finlay said the licence “must remain” and called on all levels of government to “work together”.

“Let me be clear, there is no excuse for animal cruelty, and Tasmanian Labor supports a full investigation into this matter,” she said.

“Suspending the export licence will be devastating and have far reaching consequences.”

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