TODAY, the state government announced they will beef up bio-security laws, introducing on-the-spot fines of $1,000 and up to $220,000 per person or $440,000 for corporations.
Tom Hunt, president of Scone and Rouchel Brook NSW Farmers said it would be a great relief to local farmers, not just for dissuading protesters, but also illegal hunters from trespassing.
“It’s great, because up until now any trespassing whether it be protesting or illegal hunting was really a light slap on the wrists, but this carries some weight now and people should think twice about doing it,” said Mr Hunt.
“There is definitely an ignorance towards bio-security, but it is a huge risk and the meat industry is doing it tough enough at the moment and we don’t need an outbreak of a disease because something has been carried from property to property just through total ignorance and disrespect,” Tom Hunt said.
James Jackson, president of NSW Farmers said the bio-security risks introduced by farm incursions is detrimental to animals and terrorises people who are on the list of activist organisations.
“We’re not against people protesting, the right to protest is a critical part of any democracy and we protest against things ourselves, but it’s got to be respectful and within the law and these farm invasions are not either of those, it’s not respectful it’s terrorising people and it’s impeding bio-security plans people have,” Mr Jackson said.
“They see that one incursion onto a property is low risk and the truth of the matter is, it is, but the consequences of an incursion is incredibly high,” he said.
“The cost of bringing a disease onto a farm can mean the entire farm, if you bring swine dysentery onto a pig farm, the pig farm will go broke, if you bring the new strain of salmonella onto a farm it will be closed down and it doesn’t end well for the animals either.
“Bio-security and animal welfare are intimately linked and these people who proport to support animals are putting them at risk.
“This is specifically about how these people chose to protest, invading farms and terrorising these farmers, even if you are on the list it is quite intimidating for people who haven’t been invaded but are on the list and know that they could be and it is terrible.
“There are a couple of people that are on it because they’ve just built a large shed, a machinery shed with no animals in it, so I think their intell is a bit off.
“This national legislation has a clause in it that you can’t use a carriage service to incite other people and invade farms and that tends to be the modus operandi of these people, so we are pleased that is in it,” he said.
“We encourage if people want to protest to do so in a public place and don’t invade people’s homes and don’t compromise people’s bio-security plans,” James Jackson said.
- Is Your Farm on the Map? – January 22, 2019.