Trespassing animal activists a tragedy waiting to happen

Trespassing animal activists a tragedy waiting to happen
Monday, 25 Mar 2019

AgForce has called for aggressive animal activists who illegally enter primary enterprises like feedlots and farms to be subject to the full force of the law, saying it was only a matter of time before one these dangerous stunts ended in serious injury or death.

The plea came after the latest stunt, where 100 activists yelling slogans stormed a Darling Downs feedlot and dairy, terrifying the farmer’s family and livestock.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said that, far from the caring, peace-loving image these protestors like to portray, they are violent bullies who rely on, threats, intimidation and terror to push their radical agenda.

“Harsh words and condemnation mean nothing to the thugs perpetrating these acts,” Mr Guerin said.

“Peaceful protest is one thing, but trespassing onto someone else’s property, frightening children and animals, breaching biosecurity measures that are there to protect everyone – this is criminal activity we’re witnessing and it’s going unpunished.

“My biggest concern is that it’s going to take someone getting seriously hurt or even killed before Governments increase the penalties to fit the seriousness of the crime and the courts start enforcing them.

“I know I’d feel threatened by the sort of mob action that took place on the weekend if they came over my back fence. I’d fear for the safety of my family. These are not the actions of a peaceful, law-abiding group,” Mr Guerin said.

Mr Guerin said he respected a person’s right not to eat meat, but that shouldn’t extend to being able to commit acts of violence and terror against those who do, or against those who produce it. He added the recent fines handed out for trespassing onto family farms – $1 for the Gippy Goats invasion in Victoria, and $200 to a Sunshine Coast offender who trespassed at a piggery – made a mockery of the seriousness of the situation.

“Farmers are good, kind-hearted people just going about their daily business of feeding Australian families. They treat their livestock humanely and they look after the health of their animals,” he said. 

“It was only a week ago that activists in Victoria vowed to continue trespassing onto family farms, and now this happens in Maranoa in Queensland.

“Clearly these extremists don’t feel deterred. How could you with those sorts of fines?  

“We need to get as serious about protecting the lives and livelihoods of the farmers who produce the food we eat every day as these terrorists are about terrifying them.

“Governments have to take steps now to put an end to this escalating action before it’s too late.”

Media Contacts: David Vogler 0418 733 102 | Hannah Leu 0427 626 853

Trespassing animal activists a tragedy waiting to happen

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