News & Media: Statement from Desmond Sibraa, Barrister and former meat inspector for the Federal and NSW governments

Statement from Desmond Sibraa, Barrister and former meat inspector for the Federal and NSW governments

By Aussie Farms
Mon 27 August 2012, 12:00am

The Meat Industry Authority, that had its functions transferred to the NSW Food Authority, paid attention to Wally's Pig Farm [in around 1984]. An inspector attended the premises to investigate a complaint that Valenti [Wally] Perenc was slaughtering animals and selling them to the public. Perenc refused to let the inspector enter the premises, so the inspector returned with a Police Sergeant from Yass. In the presence of the police, Perenc threatened to shoot the inspector. Perenc finally allowed the inspector onto the premises, on the proviso that he put on a pair of filthy gumboots and equally filthy overalls supplied by Perenc. The idea, was to prevent the inspector from introducing any diseases into the piggery.Perenc was convicted on charges of hinder and threaten an inspector, etc.

On 10 July 1993 another Meat Industry Authority inspector caught people leaving Perenc's property with pig carcases in their possession. He was assisted by a Yass detective. One car contained 3 pig carcases, split into 6 sides, plus 3 x plucks (heart,liver,lungs) The meat was from freshly slaughtered animals. The driver stated that he had bought the pig carcases from Wally at the piggery. The carcases and viscera were placed under seizure.

At 12:40 pm a van was intercepted as it left the piggery. The van contained 3 x backfatter pig carcases broken down into 12 quarters; 3 separate pig's heads, 3x plucks and one full, smaller pig carcase. The van driver and a woman passenger, stated that they had bought the pig carcases from Wally at the piggery. The meat was placed under seizure and was subsequently taken to Canberra abattoir where it was inspected and placed into freezer storage.

All of the seized pig carcases were found to be diseased. From personal observation and information provided by a former piggery employee, Perenc set aside sick, injured and moribund pigs for sale to his 'customers' There being no appeal against the seizure within the 7 day period, The seized meat was destroyed.

One of the aggrieved 'customers' drove back to the piggery and returned with Perenc, who demanded that the inspector give the seized carcases back to the people. He said, inter alia: "If you go on with this, you are in big trouble" the inspector advised Perenc that he considered his words to be a threat and went on to advise him of the provisions of the Act in relation threatening/hindering an officer, etc. When he put it to Perenc that the people had told him that they had bought the pig carcases from him, and the amounts that they had paid, he said: "I didn't sell it (the carcases) to them. I gave it to them". It was an offence under the Meat Industry Authority Act to give any farm-slaughtered meat to anyone outside of the family, servants, labourers and employees.

Police were standing close to Perenc during the verbal exchange and the Police officer asked perenc if he had been drinking. Perenc denied drinking alcohol The Police officer said: "I can smell liquor on your breath, you are not to drive until you have been breath tested" and called the Yass police to bring out the breath testing gear. Meanwhile, Perenc drove off in defiance of the order to remain at the scene. Eventually, 2 police officers arrived in a paddy wagon, and they drove off to the piggery. Later, the van returned, with Perenc in the back in handcuffs. He was charged with 3 counts of resist arrest - 1 count for each of the arresting police officers - one count of assaulting a police officer (he bit the sergeant on the leg - the sergeant later went to the hospital for treatment and was given a precautionary tetanus shot) and one count of refusing a breath test. On 27 June 1994 Perenc was convicted on all charges in the Yass Local court.

Perenc was found guilty on all charges brought against him. Perenc was fined $3,700, plus Court Costs, witness expenses and professional costs.

In the meantime the Minister must insist on the prosecution of Valenti Perenc and his employees for the numerous offences shown in the Animal Liberation Video. The activists are available to give evidence concerning their activities and observations at the piggery.

It seems that nothing has changed since the Meat Industry Authority inspections in July 1993. The Minister could also ask the Food Authority why no inspections had been made of the piggery over the last nineteen years.

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