Australia

'Nothing charitable' about vegan activists invading farms, says Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison has taken aim at animal rights activists. Source: AAP

The federal government could take more action against a vegan activist group that has been stripped of its charity status.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has welcomed the stripping of a radical vegan activists group's charity status, saying there was "nothing charitable" about the invasion of farmers homes and properties.

Aussie Farms drew scorn from the coalition government after publishing an online map with farmers details in a bid to expose animal cruelty.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission revoked its charity status after an investigation but is not releasing the findings, citing privacy laws.

Animal activists hold a protest in Melbourne.
Animal activists hold a protest in Melbourne.
Courtesy: SPD.

"Aussie Farms encouraged the invasion of farmers' homes & properties & the sabotaging of businesses," Mr Morrison tweeted on Tuesday night.

"It's why we introduced new laws to ban that sort of bullying of our farmers. There's nothing charitable about it & I welcome news the group's charity status has now been revoked."

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack raised the prospect of further punishment for Aussie Farms if it continues to incite activists to storm farms.

"If these people look at ways and means of creating activism that is going to see people invading farms then yes, we might need to go a bit further and tougher," the Nationals leader told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr McCormack said the government had taken a strong step by referring Aussie Farms to the watchdog.

"We don't want this activism - illegal activism - affecting the lives and livelihoods of those people who are trying to grow the food and trying to grow the fibre for domestic uses and overseas," he said.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack.
Deputy PM Michael McCormack.
AAP

In a statement, Aussie Farms said losing charity status would only mean it would have to pay tax on unspent fundraising at the end of each financial year.

"We remain a non-profit animal protection organisation dedicated to exposing and ending systemic animal cruelty," the group said.

"It's why we introduced new laws to ban that sort of bullying of our farmers": Scott Morrison.
AAP

Aussie Farms believes the ACNC decision is related to footage released of an illegal slaughterhouse in southeast Melbourne and the shooting of baby male goats on a farm.

The group accused the charities regulator of "clear bias" in favour of industry, but is unlikely to appeal the decision because it would be futile.

"At this stage we are calling for an external review of the ACNC's ability to perform its role independently as it ought to do, and must now consider whether to pursue legal action for gross misuse of the ACNC Act."

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