A STOCK agent will contest charges that he delivered a calf to an abattoir which had been recently treated with an antibacterial chemical.In the Warrnambool Magistrates Court, Department of Primary Industries senior prosecutor Geoff Morsby, alleged stock agent Blair O'Toole had despatched, sold and delivered a Friesian bull calf to a Warrnambool abattoir without notifying the buyer in writing that the calf was still within a withholding period for an antibacterial chemical treatment.
Mr Morsby told Magistrate Michael Coghlan the calf had been treated for scours on the Koroit property of Julie Gaskin the day before it was transported to the abattoir by Mr O'Toole, but an accompanying national vendor declaration form indicated the calf had not been treated within the withholding period of two weeks.
The abattoir slaughtered the calf and found a high residue of the chemical in its meat.
The DPI was concerned about the increasing frequency of national vendor declaration fraud and this case was "a strict liability issue", Mr Morsby said.
Counsel for Mr O'Toole, Helen Shalders, said her client maintained he did not know the calf was within the withholding period for the chemical and he had made reasonable inquiries about the calf's treatment status.
"His position is he had absolutely no knowledge and he made reasonable inquiry as well."
Ms Gaskin is also facing charges relating to the administration of chemicals to calves, but could not attend court due to illness.
Mr Coghlan adjourned the hearing of all charges relating to Mr O'Toole and Ms Gaskin to January 29 next year in Warrnambool.