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Nats condemn guerrilla tactics of animal activists

The Nationals WA have condemned the latest attempt by vigilante animal activists to harass and intimidate West Australian farmers.

Leader Mia Davies said the publication of an “attack map” listing the locations and contact details of farmers was an invasion of privacy and potentially putting the safety of individuals at risk.                                                                                                                                         

Ms Davies said bio-security breaches were also an issue should people trespass on private property.

“WA farmers find themselves under siege by a vocal minority using guerrilla tactics to push their agenda,” she said.

“Our farmers put animal welfare first and employ world-best practice when it comes to their livestock.

“They have the right to feel safe in their homes and go about their lives and work without harassment or intimidation.

“The Nationals WA stand with our farmers in strongly condemning these shameful and abhorrent actions by the Aussie Farms Repository.”

Agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa said vigilantism would not achieve better animal welfare outcomes.

“There is an utter lack of willingness from these activists to work constructively with industry to ensure the small percentage of people who do the wrong thing are weeded out – as they should be,” he said.

“These people have one agenda – to bring public pressure on the agriculture industry with the ultimate aim of seeing our farmers shut the gate and go out of business.

“As a sector we must make sure everyone understands what it is we do and why it is important, but we should not have to tolerate extreme agendas when it impinges on personal safety and exposes businesses to unreasonable risk.”

Wheatbelt pork producer Dawson Bradford said activists who carry out raids on properties were doing more harm than good for their supposed cause. 

“Raids are a big risk to biosecurity and animal welfare, especially if people show up and scare the animals in the middle of the night.  There’s also the biosecurity risk or contamination risk if multiple properties are raided in the same night,” he said.

“WA pig producers proudly operate under some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world. It’s disappointing to see activist organisations who don’t care about the facts and set out to incriminate an entire industry.”