Concerns for safety and welfare of animals and people as activists plan action

Concern raised for safety and welfare of animal and people as activists plan action


News
SAFE: Bendigo Livestock Exchange manager Andrew McCulloch said there were well documented procedures in place and that animal welfare and health and safety of humans were top priorities.

SAFE: Bendigo Livestock Exchange manager Andrew McCulloch said there were well documented procedures in place and that animal welfare and health and safety of humans were top priorities.

Aa

Farmers and industry have been warned to take precautions ahead of a major activist event scheduled for Monday.

Aa

Stakeholders at saleyards around Victoria are bracing for possible action by animal activists on Monday.

The so called "direct action" day being planned comes as the Federal Coalition announced it would bring the Aussie Farms website under the Privacy Act, exposing it to potential penalties of more than $400,000 if it breaches the Act.

Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said the activities of Aussie Farms Incorporated created an unacceptable risk to hardworking farming communities and producers.

"The company publishes information about Australian farmers and agricultural producers including their names and addresses, exposing them to potential trespass, biosecurity hazards, and reputational damage," the Attorney-General said.

"Listing this activist group as an organisation under the Privacy Act, now means that the company will have to abide by the provisions of the Act."

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said he had repeatedly asked Aussie Farms to take the website down before someone was hurt or worse, but the group behind the website flat refused.

"The farming families who grow our food deserve to be able to do so without fear of invasion on their property and harm to their children," Mr Littleproud said.

The Bendigo Livestock Exchange is one of the locations set to be targeted by Monday's actions. 

Saleyards manager Andrew McCulloch said the threat of action on Monday would not change the normal activities of the facility.

"We are not planning anything special in response. We have policies and procedures in place but we have made Victoria Police aware of the possibility of action," he said.

"I am confident that the policies we have in place regarding things like animal welfare will sustain any extra scrutiny.

"We expect our agents to remain calm and to go about their business as usual."

Mr McCulloch said there were well-documented procedures in place.

Animal welfare and health and safety of humans were top priorities for the operations.

The Victorian Farmers Federation has warned its members of the possible actions.

The VFF advised its members that in the event of an unusual activity on their farm or intrusion on their property, the safety of them and their family, employees, and other on-farm visitors was paramount.

The safety and welfare of animals was the second top priority.

"You should immediately telephone Victoria Police on triple zero (000) and state that animal activists are on your farm and do not take matters into your own hands," an organisation spokesperson said.

"Calling triple zero will attain the most immediate response, and it will also ensure that your call and the offending activity are logged through the police network."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by