Criminal actions inspire support for farmers

Criminal actions inspire support for farmers


Opinion
A small group of protesters set up a blockade at a Pakenham abattoir as part of a "direct action day". Photo by Peter Kostos.

A small group of protesters set up a blockade at a Pakenham abattoir as part of a "direct action day". Photo by Peter Kostos.

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The reaction to the criminal actions of extreme animal activists this week, demonstrated widespread support for primary producers.

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The reaction to the criminal actions of extreme animal activists this week, demonstrated widespread support for farmers and local food and fibre production.

While they caused disruptions to city traffic and some abattoirs and placed stress on the farming community, their criminal activities have been condemned by people from all walks of life, including vegans.

Individuals involved in illegal trespass on farms are criminals.

They are openly flouting the laws and are seeking to damage farming families.

People are entitled to their own views on food choice but illegally entering property is completely unacceptable.

Australians have also joined farmers in denouncing extreme animal activist group Aussie Farms for inciting illegal trespass on farms.

In January, the group published the addresses of more than 3000 farm and farm-related businesses on a map, and encouraged people to enter farms without authorisation to obtain covert footage.

NSW Farmers and members led a campaign of complaints to the Privacy Commission, which revealed Aussie Farms was exempt from the Privacy Act.

In a win for farmers and consumers, the federal government last week announced Aussie Farms will no longer be exempt, meaning this extreme group will now face up to $420,000 in penalties if it breaches the act.

Farmers have nothing to hide and many welcome visitors on to their farms to learn about agriculture, but this welcome does not extend to illegal invaders whose sole intent is to cause havoc.

NSW Farmers are committed to getting further reforms to ensure farmers feel safe.

We are calling on the creation of new criminal offences to protect farmers from escalating illegal activity and stronger penalties.

Additionally, organisations such as Aussie Farms that incite illegal activity must be ineligible for holding charitable status.

- James Jackson, NSW Farmers president.

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