EMANUEL Exports will continue to defend charges made against it under the WA Animal Welfare Act at a court hearing on a date to be set at the July 26 hearing.
Emanuels and two of its directors were charged with animal cruelty over the transport of sheep during a voyage from Fremantle to Kuwait in 2003.
A spokesperson for the live sheep exporter said the company's lawyers would continue to challenge the validity of the claims under section 109 of the Australian Constitution.
The section states that federal law overrides state law.
Live export companies are controlled by federal legislation.
The spokesperson said it was never the intention that State legislation "could over-ride the heavily regulated Commonwealth regime controlling the live export industry".
Therefore, the State of WA had no jurisdiction to proceed with the charges under its Animal Welfare Act.
The magistrate will set a hearing date on July 26, which is expected to be for six months later.
Livecorp chief executive officer Cameron Hall said he was concerned with the on-going attempts to disrupt live export trading.
He said attacks by animal welfare groups were based on misinformation, which drew wide conclusions.
Mr Hall said the Emanuels case was a test for WA legislation.
"No one can accurately predict what may result," he said.
It raised the question about which part of the political structure had ultimate right, whether it was on a state or federal basis.
"This is a significant case," he said.
"We will be watching this with great interest."
Emanuels managing director Mike Stanton said Animal welfare was Emanuels' top priority.
"We have succeeded in the livestock export business for the past four decades because we have always complied with the Commonwealth regulations and, combined with our own stringent quality assurance programs, are able to acquire, transport and deliver healthy, quality animals," he said.
Mr Stanton said the industry believed the charges were a test case instigated by the animal welfare lobby and designed to shut down the live sheep and cattle export industry in WA initially and then nationally.
The industry generates about $900 million a year in direct export earnings and supports 9000 direct and an estimated 15,000 indirect jobs, mainly in rural and regional Australia.
"This case has widespread repercussions for rural and regional communities and would potentially devastate the industry," Mr Stanton said.
Emanuel Exports solicitor, Tim Cocks, said the company had complied fully with the Commonwealth regime for the preparation of animals for export, their actual export, including health, welfare and fodder requirements.
Therefore the State had no jurisdiction to pursue charges in these circumstances.