Since the “Aussie Farms” activist map went live in January, the Australian farming community has been bombarded by activist trespassers.
On Monday 8 April 2019 a further ‘major animal activist event’ is set to be staged by a coalition of activist groups across a number of states.
We want farmers, their families, and employees to be safe and prepared when dealing with activist protests and trespassing. The National Farmers Federation has prepared the following tips for your information:
Prepare yourself and your property:
- Restrict entry – keep main gates shut and locked
- Erect signage – put clear signs at points of entry, for example: “Warning – no entry without permission from the landowner”
- Always adhere to best practice – whether activists are present or not, we all have an obligation to do the right thing by animals in our care
- Engage with your community – talk with local police, neighbours, and friends and have them on speed dial for a rapid response when called upon for support
- Stay alert – keep a watchful eye on activity on and around your farm, and share information with friends, neighbours and police
- Stay informed – monitor news, social media and online forums to keep up to date with activist activity in your area. You should also read up on your legal rights
During an activist protest:
- Call 000 – police have asked us to pass on this recommendation. 000 will yield a faster response than any other police number
- Explain your concerns – tell the emergency operator about the specific threats posed by the activists (for example to biosecurity, animal welfare, WH&S, lost production)
- Record everything – footage of faces and vehicle registration numbers. Note any identifying features of the activists, especially if they interact with livestock or enter your house yard
- Do not use force – even what you consider ‘reasonable force’ may be used against you.
- If you need to intervene, be cautious – if you need to intervene to prevent harm to your animals or property, be calm and measured in your response and record footage of your actions
After a protest event:
- Provide evidence – give all identifying footage to the police and make a formal complaint
- Consider legal action – you might like to explore your ability to sue identified intruders
- Share any footage with the National Farmers’ Federation as such material is valuable in industry’s ongoing advocacy work on behalf of producers
Cattle Council is working with the National Farmers’ Federation and other peak producer councils to stop extreme activist behaviour on farms and protect our farmers. We are grateful for your ongoing support.