Victorian and NSW farmers have welcomed stronger laws to protect farmers from trespassers and animal activists.
Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group president Ian Feldtmann this week welcomed the animal cruelty reporting Bill being proposed by Western Australian Senator Chris Back.
The proposed legislation will require anyone taking visible images of action they believe to be malicious cruelty to animals to report it to the responsible authority with a minimum of delay.
“If animal activists were really ‘serious’ about animal welfare, they would make it a priority to turn over evidence of cruelty to legal authorities,” Mr Feldtmann said.
“Too many times this year and in the past we have seen animal rights groups hold onto information, then release it to time in with a campaign launch.
“Farmers and the very animals they seek to protect should not be used as political pawns” Mr Feldtmann said.
Senator Back’s Bill also proposes tougher actions placed against activists who “intimidate, threaten or attack a person associated with a legally operating animal enterprise or trespasses onto or vandalises such a property.”
“Farming is a way of life – it’s not just a business.
“Ensuring production animals are Healthy and well cared for is essential for a successful farm business,” he said.
“But we need to ensure that as farmers we can live, work and continue our lives without fear or intimidation by rogue activists who simply want to end all forms of meat production,” Mr Feldtmann said.
NSW Farmers back proposed trespass law
NSW Farmers also this week endorsed Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson’s plans for to strengthen the state’s biosecurity system through a new biosecurity Bill.
NSW Farmers said the Minister has declared NSW’s safe and clean intensive industries a no-go zone for activists.
The Bill will attach criminal penalties to prosecute people who create biosecurity risks by trespassing on properties.
NSW Farmers’ president Fiona Simson said the state’s biosecurity status underpinned the strength of its $11 billion agriculture industry.
“A biosecurity breach could shut our industry down and any measures that strengthen this system will always be endorsed by farmers.”
“If you trespass on an intensive farming property, you are risking the safety of our food and creating distress for our animals,” she said.
“I hope this sends a clear signal to activists out there who are thinking of breaking into biosecurity zones.
“With these measures dependent on the passage of the NSW Biosecurity Bill, farmers will continue their close consultation with the government on the passage of the Bill in 2015,” Ms Simson said.
Sources: VFF, NSW Farmers
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