THE animal activist movement has gone from being loopy to downright dangerous.
In the past week they have escalated their behaviour to a point it should concern all.
Hot on the heels of their recent invasion of the Gippy Goat Cafe farm at Yarragon and revelations they are asking for donations to fund illegal activities came news last week that
That the ship worker offered to turn off fans to accentuate the suffering is a damning indictment of the tactics of Animals Australia and calls into question the validity of the footage that has crippled an industry.
And then, to top it off, a mob mischievously calling itself Aussie Farms on the weekend publicly released an interactive map of Australian farms and agricultural businesses such as abattoirs, encouraging fellow activists to add to the almost 6000 businesses on the maps and upload footage and pictures.
Footage and pictures that can only come from activists entering farms or businesses.
This map shows how much of a threat activists now pose to all farmers.
“Could” being the operative word, because despite a claimed eight years of development, the
map is still pretty scant on details.
And even less so on why it exists.
Aussies Farms says it was created “to force transparency on an industry dependent on
That must come as a surprise to nearly every farmer.
No farmer is making a secret of how a cow is raised and then milked, about the breeding
strategies of beef cattle and what happens to them at the end of their lives or how wool is
removed from sheep.
Even those “nasty” industries, as activists would have it — broiler, egg and pig farms and
abattoirs — have no qualms in telling consumers their stories.
Paul Sheedy, manager of Radford Meats at Warragul, which is listed on the map, told The
Weekly Times Radfords had always been an “open house abattoir” and was transparent with its
animal welfare and traceability programs.
He said it was “very concerning” activists were encouraging people to potentially trespass on
farms and abattoirs.
Most farms and farm businesses don’t invite visitors willy-nilly on to their premises. But that has nothing to do with secrecy, but everything to do with biosecurity.
The disease threat of a visitor is a huge concern for farmers.
But that hasn’t sunk in yet with the activists who think they are caring for animals by entering
farms and putting the welfare of those same animals at risk.
And the accusation of secrecy is rich coming from balaclava-clad interlopers who live behind digital pseudonyms as they plot their next Instagram-perfect adventure.
Farmers shouldn’t have to suffer these fools. And at least one farmer isn’t, admitting he is now posing as an activist online to infiltrate groups and thwart their protests. He reckons he has stopped three invasions in the last five months.
But a lone wolf is not going to change a tide of activism that appears to be growing
It is time the Government realised it is not OK for trespassers to interrupt legitimate businesses, threatening animal welfare, incomes and family safety.
It is time that they gave the police the resources to crack down on this sort of activity. And it is time for the courts to treat these offences with the seriousness they deserve.
If this appalling map is not a jolt for action, it doesn’t bear thinking what the catalyst will