The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has moved a motion to defend the rights of Victorian farmers against unlawful animal rights activists in State Parliament last week.
Ms Bath said she looks forward to debating the motion in parliament. The state government must act and condemn the unlawful behaviour of animal rights activists and individuals who illegally enter law abiding Victoria farms.
“Gippsland is known for its high quality produce and our farmers are some of the best in the world. They adhere to strict animal welfare laws and we must protect their right to farm,” said Ms Bath.
“It is completely unacceptable that the safety, health and biosecurity of farmers and their livestock are put at risk through trespass and theft.
“Our farmers and their staff should be protected as they are simply doing their job. I am calling on the Andrews Labor Government to ensure activists feel the full force of the law.
Ms Bath introduced the motion in response to the publishing of thousands of farmers’ personal details and the disturbing farm thefts that took place at the popular the Gippy Goat Café in Yarragon this summer.
“When publications are openly encouraging individuals to upload photos and video footage taken on properties they are deliberating making them a target of extreme animal rights activists,” said Ms Bath.
“Our Gippsland farmers work hard and operate responsible and sustainable businesses. They deserve to be able to operate their farms without fear for their own safety or that of their family, employees and livestock.
“Farming is an important contributor Gippsland’s economy and the State Government must ensure the industry can continue without the fear of theft and harassment.
“Anyone found to be illegally entering Victorian farms and stealing livestock, promoting or financially supporting farm theft, should face the full force of the law,” concluded Ms Bath.