Activist Forced To Pay $300 After Rescuing Piglets From ‘Putrid’ Pig Farm
A vegan activist has been forced to pay $300 after rescuing piglets from a ‘putrid’ pig farm in Queensland.
Lauren McGeachin, 28, pleaded guilty before the Brisbane Magistrates Court to stealing livestock and to entering premises with intent.
As well as being ordered to pay up $300 worth of compensation to the Cameron Pastoral Company’s Pittsworth piggery, McGeachin was also ordered to serve 90 hours of unpaid community service.
As reported by ABC News Australia, the court heard how McGeachin and several other activists broke into the piggery back in November last year, stealing six piglets.
At the time, McGeachin had taken video footage inside the piggery, showing her stroking the pigs and cradling tiny piglets in her arms. The footage also showed graphic images of the discarded bodies of dead pigs.
McGeachin also captured videos of the rescued piglets playing and relaxing at what appeared to be her home, running about in the garden and drinking from a baby bottle.
Her defence lawyer Kate McArthur stated that she had initially just gone along to look at the piggery. However, once inside she found the conditions to be ‘extremely confronting’:
When she got in there she’s confronted with this putrid scene. She’s become, she tells me, overwhelmed. She was very distressed.
She removed some of the live piglets who appeared to be in a very unwell state. She’s taken them out of a desire for their immediate welfare.
The court reportedly also heard about a separate incident in July 2019, when McGeachin and several other activists broke into an egg production facility at night in Warwick, southeast Queensland. When it came to this incident, McGeachin pleaded guilty to entering premises with intent.
Officers reportedly later searched the property of one of the others involved in this incident and discovered three stolen chickens. Police also seized various mobile phones and uncovered photographs and video footage taken from inside the egg facility.
When sentencing McGeachin, Magistrate Anthony Gett took into account her lack of previous criminal offences, and noted that she had submitted an apology letter to the court.
Magistrate Gett said:
I note you are remorseful for your conduct and it seems you have some insight into the impact of your actions.
Not only on the investigating police to whom you’re apologetic but also the impact on others. In my view whatever conditions you found in the piggery did not justify your actions or entering a premises with intent.
As per Perth Now, McGeachin told reporters:
If that was someone in there, they would want to be rescued too, so I am just doing what is right. If an animal is in danger, I will help it.
No conviction was recorded in this case.
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