The relevant agency in this case is AQIS. All live animal and plant
importations are approved by them. It is a bit hard to say who should
get the blame, without seeing the original import permit application.
If the animals were described as an ordinary domestic cat breed and
the full details of the Serval gene input were not disclosed, then the
responsibility would then the fall back on the importers, who could
also be open to prosecution by AQIS for falsifying their
documentation. If AQIS knew fully of the genetic make-up of the cats,
then it liability would fall back on them. Given the degree of deep
doo-doo that AQIS is in at the moment of the Equine Influenza fiasco,
their response to any threat of litigation by the would be importers
would be interesting. I have the feeling that they would come out all
guns blazing, and I would not like to be in the importers shoes.
On 05/08/2008, at 11:17 AM, Scot Mcphee wrote:
Peter Shute wrote:
And perhaps if they manage to sue the government, it might discourage
government departments from giving approval for things that they
shouldn't, only to have the decision changed later. I'm sure these
people wouldn't have put any money into the idea if they didn't think
they had approval.
Has anyone determined yet - approval from whom? and for what? Because
it's one thing for Customs to say that's OK by us to import this
animal, another for the Department of the Environment to allow or ban
certain species (there is two departments there). For example
Environment could add a species to the CITES list, which then makes
import/export illegal where previously it wasn't.
Frankly as a matter of policy I think the default position for
importing any species, or cross-breed, into Australia should be
"banned" until explicitly approved rather than the other way around.
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