Vegans Who Raid Australian Farms May Soon Face Five Years In Prison
Vegans who trespass on farms in Australia could face up to five years in prison under new laws which might be passed today.
The Australian Senate is debating legislation which would see new punishments for people inciting protesters to trespass, damage, or steal from properties.
The new laws were proposed after vegan protesters – who described themselves as ‘animal liberationists’ – raided abattoirs in Queensland and New South Wales earlier this year.
As reported by 7News, while people who are found guilty of provoking trespass on agricultural land could face up to one year behind bars, inciting property damage or destruction would be punishable by up to five years in prison under the proposed law.
The Liberal Party and the Labor Party both support the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019, although Labor Senator Kim Carr warned the new legislation needed extensive changes to prevent ‘unintended consequences’ against farmers, workers, journalists, and whistle blowers.
In a speech to parliament on Wednesday (September 11), Senator Carr said:
There is a real serious risk here that when you undermine the capacity to provide that whistleblowing service that people do provide, the work that journalists do, that you actually enhance organised crime.
To act in haste and to draft legislation which is badly thought through may have serious consequences for some considerable time.
However, government minister Zed Seselja said the bill was about supporting farmers who provide food and fibre for Australia, referring to protesters as ‘vegan terrorists’.
The Australian Greens oppose the new legislation, with Greens animal welfare spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi stating the major parties were on the ‘wrong side of history’.
Faruqi went on to say those who thought the bill was about protecting farms had the wool pulled over their eyes, before adding:
You lot seem to have completely missed the fact that every state and territory already has trespass and incitement laws. This is an anti-protest bill dressed up as protection. It takes us further down the road to a police state.
This comes after a number of incidents in March and April whereby vegan protesters invaded farms across the country, ‘putting livestock at risk’ and causing ‘distress’.
One such incident involved approximately 100 protesters entering Queensland Feedlot and Dairy Farm on March 24 to ‘fight for animal liberation,’ as they filmed themselves marching across the grounds.
In footage shared to Instagram after the protest took place, the farmer can be heard shouting at the protesters to ‘get off my fucking country,’ before screaming, ‘don’t go fucking through’.
A police spokesperson confirmed to Daily Mail Australia at the time no arrests were made, although this new legislation – if passed – hopes to change all of that.
The bill passed the House of Representatives on August 1 and is now being debated in the Senate.
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