Agriculture | June 05, 2020

On the spot fines for farm trespass

Victorian famers have today had a small win in the fight against animal activism and illegal farm trespass.

The introduction of on-the-spot fines will be the first step to fix Victoria’s broken farm trespass laws. 

These commitments come in response to the final report of the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture.

Serious concerns had been raised by the farming community that the Committee report recommended to codify public interest surveillance.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy said she vehemently rejected any moves to allow public interest surveillance on farm by activists.

“Farm trespass is illegal and there are no excuses for breaking the law, harassing farmers or breaching biosecurity,” Ms Kealy said.

“The intent of the Inquiry was to fix farm trespass laws, not weaken them and hand activists a get out of jail free pass.”

The Andrews Labor Government’s response comes a year and half after The Nationals raised the issue of animal activism in State Parliament and sought to fix farm trespass laws through an Inquiry.

Ms Kealy said Labor must quickly implement on the spot fines for law breaking activists.

“Farming is fundamental to our regional, state and national economy and supporting the agriculture industry must be a priority.

“It is shameful that Labor MP’s failed to support the Inquiry in the first place and then backed activists in the Inquiry report. 

“Overwhelming Lowan residents were calling for farm trespass laws to be fixed and I thank everyone who signed my petition and those who presented evidence to the Inquiry.

“The public outrage following the invasion and subsequent harassment of Luv-A-Duck at Nhill and the Gippy Goat in Gippsland, which resulted in $1 fines for activists, clearly articulated public sentiment.

“My Nationals colleagues and I will continue to work for our valued farmers, advocate for greater protections and hold Labor to account,” Ms Kealy said.

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