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Historic Fine For Seafood Company

NEW ZEALAND - The biggest ever fine handed down under the Animal Products Act 1999 has been welcomed by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).

Last September NZFSA brought a case to court against Sea Resources Company Limited and Ian Kenneth William Pharaoh, charging them each with three charges under s128 of the Animal Products Act 1999 for having sold more than 1.5 tonnes of squid, despite knowing it had not been processed in accordance with the proper requirements.

In a long running defended hearing, both parties were found guilty on all counts. At the sentencing in Wellington District Court on Friday, April 4, Sea Resources Company Limited was fined $60,000 per charge and Mr Pharaoh was fined NZ$15,000 per charge. Both parties were also ordered to pay court costs of NZ$130 on each charge. Fines and costs were handed down totalling NZ$225,780.

Geoff Allen, Director (Compliance and Investigation) for NZFSA, said it was the first time this part of the Animals Products Act had been tested and he was very pleased with the outcome.

“This is the largest fine handed down under the Animal Products Act to date,” he said. “The hefty fines were appropriate for offending on such a scale”. Together with the loss of the squid this result will send a strong signal to the industry about the dangers and consequences of this sort of activity,” he added.

Ellen Hardy

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