Agriculture | September 18, 2019

Feds take action on rogue animal activists

Despite no action from the Andrews Labor Government, animal activists invading people’s properties can expect to face tough new sanctions thanks to new farm trespass laws passed by the Federal Parliament last Friday. 

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the Federal Nationals had driven the changes to Commonwealth law, which will introduce new offences for incitement of trespass, property damage and theft on agricultural land. 

“This legislation is a huge win for farmers, their families and regional communities not only in Victoria, but Australia-wide,” Ms Kealy said. 

“It sends a clear message to animal activists that violating the personal information of farmers, including the publication of their addresses to incite trespass, will not be tolerated.

“Activists will now risk imprisonment of up to five years if they are found to have breached the privacy of farmers and their families.

“If you trespass and steal livestock from farming families and their businesses, you are not an activist, you’re a criminal and you deserve to be punished for your actions.”

The news comes as the Victorian Parliament holds public hearings, including one in Horsham this week, to gather evidence from farmers on how the actions of animal activists are impacting their businesses and their livelihoods.

The committee has so far received almost 500 submissions to the inquiry, with a number of these from the Wimmera.

“It’s great my vocal advocacy for a public hearing in the Wimmera was heard and we were able to have a hearing in Horsham,” Ms Kealy said.

“It is important that local producers have the opportunity to share their experience of unlawful animal activists trespassing on their property, threatening the welfare and biosecurity of their stock, damage and theft of property and the psychological impact of these intrusions on farmers, their family and workers.

“With other states leading the way on toughening up penalties for unlawful animal activist actions, it’s disappointing that the Victorian Labor Government is dragging its feet and is now the last state to act to fix our broken trespass laws. 

“If Labor won’t take action now, I hope recommendations arising from the Inquiry reflect the strong views held by locals so the Government is forced to act to tighten up laws and penalties around unlawful animal activism and protect our farmers.” 

To read the evidence given to the committee so far, visit

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