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Calls for Pig Farmer to Stand Down Rejected

by 5m Editor
10 February 2011, at 9:18am

AUSTRALIA - The State Government has rejected suggestions a Gingin pig farmer facing animal cruelty charges should step down from his role with the Agricultural Produce Commission.

Neil Ferguson is General Manager of Westpork and chairs the Commission's Pork Producers Committee, reports ABC News.

Thirty animal cruelty charges have been laid against Neil Ferguson and Westpork Proprietary Limited which operates at Gingin, north of Perth.

The Western Australian Greens have called for Mr Ferguson to stand down from the committee while the case is pending.

Agriculture Minister Terry Redman says standing Mr Ferguson down would be a knee jerk reaction.

"Presently what have been put up now are allegations that need to be proved in court," he said.

"I'm not going to make comment on that, it is not my business to do that, but I certainly don't think it's appropriate to take a knee jerk response now to ask someone to stand down from a committee that basically raises industry funds."

The case is due before the Perth Magistrates Court on 16 March.

Mr Ferguson has been contacted for comment.