A date has been tentatively set for the hearing into the deaths of 59 cattle aboard a ship in the Bass Strait in 2016.
On Tuesday, Crown prosecutor Simon Nicholson and the lawyers for the four parties accused of animal cruelty appeared before Magistrate Tamara Jago in the Burnie Magistrates Court.
Abattoir owner HW Greenhams & Sons, John McGee, Graeme Pretty and Les Dick had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated cruelty, cruelty to animals and using method of management of an animal or group of animals reasonably likely to result unreasonable and unjustifiable pain and suffering to the animals.
At the outset Ms Jago dismissed charges against Mr Dick, who died in February.
Ms Jago then published a decision on an application by lawyers for Greenhams and Mr Pretty who sought to have some of the charges "further and better particularised" by the Crown.
Following legal argument in the court in November last year, Mr Nicholson had amended the charges against the parties to be further and better particularised.
Ms Jago said on Tuesday the charges against Mr Pretty now included three further particulars which alleged that he was the livestock manager for Greenhams, was present at the times relevant to the charges and that by virtue of his employment he had control and retained decision making capability over the animals.
She said the case against Mr Pretty could be now "readily understood".
However, Ms Jago ordered further amendments to the charges against Greenhams so the company could better understand how the Crown alleged they entered into an arrangement with the owner of the vessel on which the animals were crossing the Bass Strait.
"They are entitled to know with a greater degree of specificity what the arrangement is said to be," Ms Jago said
She added that it should be clarified what date the arrangement was allegedly entered into and whether it was verbal or written.
She adjourned the matter for next appearance on May 20 to give Mr Nicholson 14 days to amend the charges and a further seven days as requested by lawyer Robert Taylor to take further instructions based on the as-yet unknown amendments.
Ms Jago also flagged with the parties that a three week slot beginning October 11 had been tentatively set aside by the courts for the matter to go to hearing.
The matter was originally listed for hearing in September 2019, but ultimately adjourned due to the declining health of Mr Dick.
Proceedings were further delayed throughout 2020 when Mr Taylor began submitting that the charges be dismissed, and when that was denied, for the amendments now ordered.
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