Morrison wants trespass laws targeting animal activists passed within two weeks

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants laws targeting animal activists trespassing on private farms to be passed within two weeks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told farmers he expects laws designed to stop animal activists from "invading" their properties to be passed within the next two weeks.  

In the lead up to the federal election, the government promised the crackdown after a series of confrontations between animal activists and farmers. 

Animal welfare activists go topless to make a "ditch dairy" stand to raise awareness of what they claim is cruelty within the dairy industry.
Source: AAP

"The recent spate of highly organised farm invasions is just utterly disgraceful," he told a regional summit in Dubbo on Thursday. 

This month, the government introduced legislation to toughen penalties for trespassing animal activists. 

The proposed laws also create a new offence for using the internet to "incite" others to trespass, following the publication of an online map with the location of hundreds of livestock farms, meatworks and dairies.  

"Those laws have been introduced to criminalise these actions of these cowardly keyboard warriors who incite crimes," the prime minister said. 

Anti-cruelty activists took goats from a Gippsland property.

He expects Parliament to pass the laws when it sits again next week for two weeks. 

"These Australians shouldn't have to worry if the parliament is on their side and I don't think we will have this worry in the next fortnight," he said.

The prime minister said the actions of animal activists had contributed to a perception, particularly among young people that farms damaged the environment. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants laws aimed at stopping animal activists going onto private farms to be passed within two weeks.
Source: AAP

Anti-cruelty activists have justified their aggressive tactics arguing they have exposed inhumane treatment of animals that has led to prosecution. 

In March, an NSW egg farmer was convicted of animal cruelty after activists broke into the farm and found 4,000 live chickens in poor condition squashed into a shed and another 1,000 dead chickens. 

In some cases, activists have broken into farms and taken livestock. 

Earlier in the year, Gippsland's Gippy Goat Cafe closed - blaming "abusive vegan activists" who it said had subjected staff and customers to months of harassment. 

In April, animal rights campaigners staged demonstrations across several rural properties, while about 100 vegan protesters shut down a busy Melbourne intersection. 

Published 18 July 2019 at 11:52am
By Rosemary Bolger