A 12-month licence suspension is looming over a Northern Tasmanian abattoir, something owners say will imperil hundreds of jobs. Animal rights activists have released video footage claiming to show staff at Tasmanian Quality Meats (TQM) mistreating animals sent to the abattoir. TQM owner Jake Oliver said the activists had illegally entered the property some time between August and September 2023 and installed hidden cameras. The footage prompted an intervention by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. TQM owner Jake Oliver said the department indicated the Cressy business may be slapped with a year-long export licence suspension pending further investigation. He said this would be "catastrophic" for the state, as it would impact more than the 200 workers he employed. "We want a fair go," Mr Oliver said. "We know what's happened. It's happened. We are willing to take whatever happens on the chin. "Don't penalise our farmers, don't penalise their employees, their families." The abattoir is currently prepared to process 120,000 sheep and lambs by the end of January, most of which are destined to be sent overseas. Mr Oliver said with the facility shut, farmers would have to send their livestock to mainland processors - an unlikely prospect given the lack of time - or euthanise them. TQM had been given seven days to respond to the notice, however Mr Oliver said the company had asked for more time given the significance of the matter. Mr Oliver said the company had moved quickly and had taken steps to improve animal welfare standards since the breach was publicised. These included appointing an animal welfare officer, increasing quality insurance processing, re-training employees on their animal welfare obligations and purchasing a new stunning system and restrainer. Mr Oliver said the company had also introduced a zero-tolerance policy for animal welfare violations. Mr Oliver avoided answering several times whether the employees believed to be involved had been stood down, however he eventually said they had been moved to different roles at the company. The business owner said the facility had 60 CCTV cameras on-site, however the activists' footage had shown TQM had "to do some different things". "We're always looking at ways to improve our policies and procedures," Mr Oliver said. "This has brought to light that we have to do some different things." Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association president Ian Sauer said farmers did not tolerate animal cruelty, and several livestock owners were concerned about the pending licence suspension. Mr Sauer said the business had his organisation's full support, and no punitive action should be taken until investigations were complete. "I've sat down with TQM and I've asked four times for assurances on a number of issues, including it will never ever happen again," he said. "I've been given those assurances, so I can only believe that. "I think on the record of them acting early that I will believe, otherwise TFGA wouldn't be here today." Minister for Primary Industries Jo Palmer said the state government expected abattoirs to maintain the "highest" animal welfare standards. "I have been advised that Tasmania Quality Meats have undertaken a range of measures to ensure they meet those standards," she said. "I would hope the Commonwealth affords TQM due and fair process, acknowledging the impact any decision would have on Tasmanians jobs, farmers and livestock." Labor primary industries spokeswoman Janie Finlay said the party supported a "full investigation into the matter", but said it would be "devastating" if the licence was suspended. Tasmanian Greens leader Rosalie Woodruff said the Liberal and Labor parties were "out of step" with what the public wanted when it came to animal welfare. "People don't want to see innocent animals dying in the brutal situations in abattoirs," Dr Woodruff said. "We've been here time after time, year after year. "It's only because of animal activists that this evidence ever comes to light. That's why we need to have reforms to the Animal Welfare Act and CCTV cameras in all the abattoirs with monitoring on a regular basis."