Prison time for ‘loopy’ animal activists
LOCAL farmers who have been targeted by ‘loopy’ and ‘out-ofline’ animal activists can breathe a sigh of relief with militants now facing jail time.
Campaigners who use social media and websites to encourage others to invade and trespass on farms now face up to five years in prison under a new law introduced to federal parliament following a Senate inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton confirmed he is aware of several farmers within the region being targeted by animal activists.
“I have heard from a number of A group of Dubbo school students got a lot more than they bargained for when they ran into actor-entertainer Hugh Jackman while on an excursion to the nation’s capital last week.
Dubbo Christian School Stage 3 teachers Courtney Troy and Matthew Harris admit they were just as excited as the students to meet the star of Hollywood blockbusters including Wolverine and The Greatest Showman.
“Year 5 were so excited when we walked into the National Gallery and saw Hugh Jackman and his lovely wife Deborra-lee Furness viewing the artworks,” Miss Troy said.
“We spent our entire tour of the gallery bumping into Mr Jackman and his wife who waved at the kids, gave them high-fives and shook their hands.
“One group of students were lucky enough to get a selfie with Mr Jackman after hearing we were from drought-stricken Dubbo,” she said, adding that the Dubbo students were “blown away” with how kind he was to them.
Mr Harris agreed. “He was an excellent example to the students on how to be gracious and kind to others, a lesson that is so important for students at that stage of life, and one we promote consistently at school,” he said.
“Despite how easy it would have been for him to avoid us, he went above and beyond. It is still the talk of the school!” Mr Harris said. farmers and constituents in my electorate who are deeply concerned about on-farm intimidation and attacks by out-of-line activists, including some farmers who have been affected by farm trespass firsthand,” Mr Coulton told Dubbo Photo News.
He also said he was aware of farming businesses within his electorate being listed on the controversial Aussie Farms website.
The site, which has been live since January, publicly lists addresses and descriptions of Australian farms which it labels as a “comprehensive, interactive map of factory farms, slaughterhouses and other animal exploitation facilities”.
“These are legitimate, productive farming businesses which are an integral part of our local communities and the wider economy,” Mr Coulton said.
“No one would like the address of their family home put up online for all to see, and nor should farmers have to contend with private details including their address being made publicly available.”
Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee also confirmed that primary producers in his electorate have been “unfairly targeted” on the Aussie Farms website with beekeepers, saleyards and pet shops listed on the site.
“Farmers have enough to worry about with this devastating drought,” Mr Gee said.
“They shouldn’t have to lie awake at night worrying about whether they are going to be targeted by militant and loopy activists – most of whom are from the city and have no idea about the way farms or country communities operate.”
Responding to the passing of the bill last week, Aussie Farms slammed the new legislation labelling it as “draconian” and referring to it as the “new ag-gag law”.
Executive director of Aussie Farms, Chris Delforce, argued the public’s right to transparency.
“Consumers have a right to know about the cruelty occurring daily as standard practice within Australian animal agriculture; no business has a right to abuse animals in secrecy, and until the government mandates transparency in animal agriculture or criminalises animal cruelty towards ‘livestock’ animals in the same way that it’s criminalised towards companion animals, this role will unfortunately continue to fall on whistle-blowers,” Mr Delforce said.
Mark Coulton (left) and Andrew Gee (right)