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Federal Court of Australia decision on live cattle export ban

Media Release

The Australian Government accepts the outcome from the Federal Court of Australia in Brett Cattle Company Pty Ltd v Minister for Agriculture [2020] FCA 732, in which orders were made on 29 June 2020. 

The Australian Government will not appeal this decision.

As the Prime Minister has said, live cattle exporters were dealt with egregiously by the Gillard Government. The Coalition Government will not jeopardise the outcome they have won in this case.

While the decision raises some important issues of legal principle, they are far outweighed by the very real pain and hurt that the live export ban inflicted on our cattle industry. This matter has been ongoing since 2014, and the Government is pleased that those impacted by the live cattle ban can finally have the issue brought to an end.

The Government disagrees with some of the principles as they have been applied by the court. The Court’s reasoning in this matter represents a departure from existing legal principles governing both the validity of delegated legislation and the tort of misfeasance in public office. The Government reserves its right to press its view of the relevant legal principles if an appropriate case arises in the future.