Activists charged over piggery break-ins

26 Oct, 2015 06:05 AM
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It is never appropriate to break the law to further your cause.

NSW Police have charged two animal activists with 22 offences in total, relating to break and entering on piggeries and the planting of hidden video equipment.

A statement released on Friday said a 24-year-old Adelaide man and a 37-year-old Ryde woman will face the Cootamundra Local Court on December 7, charged with numerous break and enter offences on piggeries across NSW.

“In 2013, a piggery in Young reported a break-in,” the statement said.

“The matter was investigated and Strike Force Shubach was established by the Cootamundra Local Area Command after it was discovered other piggeries, predominantly across the southern parts of the state, were also targeted.

“In June 2015, police executed an extra-territorial search warrant in Adelaide and simultaneously a search warrant was executed in the Sydney suburb of Ryde.

“The strike force, led by the Cootamundra rural crime investigator Detective Senior Constable Paul Clancy, examined a plethora of evidence which culminated in the charging of the man with 17 separate offences and the woman with five.

“Police allege that the two animal activists broke into the piggeries and installed electronic recording devices in contravention of the Surveillance Devices Act.”

Cootamundra Local Area Command Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Huxtable, commended his officers for their efforts.

“Detective Clancy has worked tirelessly on this investigation which is still ongoing,” he said.

“It is never appropriate to break the law to further your cause.

“In doing so you jeopardise your own safety, that of the farmers and their families, as well as risking significant danger to the animals through the breaching of strict bio-security provisions.”

A Channel 9 website has also reported the police as saying the man involved in the incident is the owner of the Aussie Pigs website which contains images and video of nearly 40 piggeries throughout NSW.

Detective Chief Inspector Huxtable, is also quoted as saying the website had helped policy identify those involved in the break-ins and that the investigation was still ongoing.

In June 2013, Fairfax Agricultural Media reported that two piggeries in Young were targeted by animal activists involving trespass to collect video footage for use in media campaigns designed to undermine intensive farming systems.

The incidents caused both proprietors significant stress and were followed by a spate of similar acts at other piggeries resulting in State and federal government officials raising concerns about potential biosecurity risks.

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Colin Bettles

Colin Bettles

is the national political writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media

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