The pack-rat is back in court, with its owners claiming they were discriminated against and that they were unlawfully denied the chance to appeal against a $4.5m judgment.
The dog was found dead in a cardboard box in the backyard of the Pack Rat Storage Centre in Wollies Pack Rat District in Melbourne’s north-east in 2015, just three months after the animals had been relocated from their home in Hobart to an undisclosed location in Queensland.
The dogs owner, who is now based in New South Wales, says the dogs were moved to Australia in 2015 to be cared for by an Australian-based dog breeder.
The dogs were initially given a two-year quarantine, with the hope of re-establishing their social lives with their new owners.
The pack rat has since gone through six different owners, each of whom had their rights to appeal upheld, according to the plaintiffs.
In the case, the owners are seeking $4 million in damages.
On Monday, they had argued that the judge had made it clear that the court should not be forced to hear the case on the basis of “political correctness”, and that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) should not have been called as witnesses.
“The decision is a decision that the courts cannot make on the merits, it is a political decision,” lawyer Andrew MacLean told the court.
“[But] the Court has found it is appropriate for the parties to come to an agreement in order to determine the award of damages and the amount of costs to be awarded.”
He said it was not a matter for the court to determine whether the AFP had been biased in the case.
‘The police should have been on the case’The case has prompted an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures to demand that the APC and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) be called to the court, which will decide if the case is heard.
In a statement, APC said: “APC is disappointed with the decision and disappointed that the Court of Appeal did not find that the AFP acted unreasonably in the matter.
APC has been seeking a judicial review of this matter since the case was heard in the Court in 2015.”
It is important to note that APC is not the complainant in this case.
We have made clear in our submissions that we have not sought to seek a judicial resolution of the matter.
“The APC also said it would “continue to fight for a fair outcome in the court of appeal, which has the potential to lead to a major change in Australia’s animal welfare laws”.