Animal activists have been out in force over the past few weeks causing significant disruption.
This week we saw a protest in Melbourne, while smaller events unfolded at regional meatworks around the state. Thankfully, this week's events were peaceful, as we have recently seen other activities around the country involve large number of trespassers invading farm businesses.
For those who choose to eat products from animals, they can be assured that Australian farmers care for their animals and strive to achieve world's best practice when it comes to many standards of production. For those who don't consume these products, Australian agriculture also provides many healthy and safe protein sources.
I am proud of the great produce our farmers deliver. As farmers know, healthy animals mean a healthy and productive farm. For those working in agriculture, while our lives may at times be very different and somewhat removed from those of city-based consumers, we actually have many things in common. We value family and safety, we care for our animals be they pets or farm animals, and we pride ourselves in growing and consuming great food.
We respect the rights of people to express their views, however, we condemn illegal behaviour that threatens the safety of our farming families and agriculture businesses, and can also introduce potential biosecurity risks. Activists may wish to share their views but they must also respect the choice of others - farmers who produce great food and people who consume it.
The VFF has engaged with the media over this issue and we will continue to do so and engage with consumers to ensure they are getting the full story and making informed decisions. I would also like to express our thanks to Victoria Police for their work in ensuring the safety of Victoria's farmers and our community.
- David Jochinke, VFF president