The Aussie Farms map is a toolkit for terrorism and needs to be taken down, says central west, NSW, farmer Erika Chesworth.
According to Aussie Farms the interactive map, launched this week, is “a comprehensive, interactive map of factory farms, slaughterhouses and other animal exploitation facilities across Australia...”
The map also allows people to “submit information about facilities and upload photos, videos and documents relating to that facility”.
Instead of using the word ‘map’ Mrs Chesworth, would like to see the language changed to ‘toolkit’.
“Because it’s arming people to cause destruction,” she said. “This is a threat.. this is a terrorism website… it’s a toolkit for terror.
“I don’t think the map should be pulled down I think the whole thing should be pulled down because it’s a toolkit.”
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The fact that the map implies businesses are involved with animal cruelty was the farthest thing from the truth, Ms Chesworth said. Being farmers was about the love of the animal, she said.
“For people who don’t know us to say we’re cruel ... it’s pretty pissy,” Ms Chesworth said.
She said many of the properties on the map are not just businesses but households too.
“If I woke up tomorrow morning and our farms were being ransacked I can’t imagine how I’d feel,” Ms Chesworth said.
“It is alarming that where we live is where we do business so it’s very personal and I really feel that great sense of invasion … like the rest of the farming community … but not a lot of people are talking about the fact that it’s a toolkit.”
Having been in the public domain for five years, Ms Chesworth said they were not surprised to be featured on the map.
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“Of course we’re on the map.. our address is on Google maps too. We do have a website, we are putting ourselves in the public domain through our products …,” she said. “As far as our business is concerned if people wanted to have a shot at us they could already do that.”
National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson called on Facebook close the page down earlier this week.
Ms Chesworth called on the NFF to lead this end of Aussie Farms but also utilise their people who shine a light on the positive aspects of agriculture.
“I would be pretty annoyed if we just make a fuss for a couple of weeks and don’t change anything,” she said.
Ms Chesworth said farmers shouldn’t blow the map out of context.
“Go through your anger, but make it very short lived and come up with some really constructive outcomes,” she said.
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