Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud fears someone will be "seriously hurt or worse" and has again called on animal activist group Aussie Farms to pull down its map of Australian farms after a business on the map was broken into.
It's understood an animal activist involved in another dispute with a Western Australian dairy farmer earlier this month broke into a WA piggery on Sunday night and live streamed footage of animals on the Direct Action Everywhere Facebook page. View the video here.
“I said the Aussie Farms map was an attack map for activists and I was right,” Minister Littleproud said.
“A piggery on the map has now been broken into by animal activists who have broadcast their illegal activities on Facebook.
“The safety of farming families and their children is at risk here.
“Nobody would like their family home address being broadcast to the world and especially not next to information which is wrong in many cases."
In the Direct Action Everywhere video, an American named Matt, narrating over footage from James who's live from the WA piggery says they are doing the action to "show the world and show David Littleproud that we are not going to be intimidated".
James explains he was at the dairy farm in Western Australia and actions of the farmer, including running him off the road and firing a shotgun.
Matt says the farmers actions were "supported by the government, the government reinforced this kind of behaviour against the activists" and they made a special point of doing the live pig farm video because of "the actions of David Littleproud".
"Putting the blame on people who are trying to protect animals, people who are victims of violence," Matt says in the video.
"We want you to know this is what David Littleproud is defending when he is defaming and going against animal rights activists," James says in the livestream. He then cuts to footage of a dead pig and piglets.
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Mr Littleproud said the Aussie Farms organisation knew their map was being used to plan attacks on farming family businesses.
“They’ve lost sight of their cause and lost community support and must stop intimidating farming families," he said.
“Aussie Farms should stop being so wreckless and pull the farm map down before someone is killed."
Queensland Liberal National Party agriculture spokesperson Tony Perrett recently called for new laws to protect farmers from animal extremists.
“In Queensland we have a situation where farms and food processing facilities are at the mercy of animal activists with little or no legal deterrent," Mr Perrett said.
“Queensland should be leading the way in standing up for our all-important farmers.
“Minister Furner (Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner) needs to offer more than hollow lip service and put serious nation leading reforms on the table.
“Queensland farmers deserve a Minister ready to go into bat for them, not just someone who will kowtow to Labor’s inner-city animal activists.
“It is completely unacceptable to have a situation where these animal extremists are terrorising hard working Queensland farmers and for Minister Furner to lack the fortitude to do what is needed to protect them."
However, Attorney General Christian Porter said there were already “substantial protections” in place for farmers.
“Australian law currently provides substantial avenues for individuals to seek redress for interferences with their privacy – for example torts such as trespass, nuisance, defamation and breach of confidence,” Mr Porter said.
Earlier this month a repeat farm trespass offender received a second slap on the wrist.
Mr Littleproud called on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to condemn the group and the Aussie Farms map.
"Bill Shorten must call this out before the worst happens," he said.
"Labor voting against drought support is one thing but saying nothing about a map which displays the addresses of Australian farming families – often with incorrect information about the farm – is something else.
“Following a recent Queensland case in which a trespassing animal activist got a $350 fine for her third offence, I also call on the states to beef up their trespass laws.”
Join our campaign
This publication is campaigning to create new laws giving individuals rights to sue for privacy breaches to create more options to prosecute against trespass.
Under those changes, which fall under federal jurisdiction, farmers could take court action if images obtained under trespass were publicised.
Current laws require police to gather sufficient evidence of a break-in, and legal experts say trespassers can wear a balaclava to hide their identity, making it difficult to lay charges.
Our campaign, #protectourfarms, is also calling for Aussie Farms to be stripped of its charity status and for tougher farm trespass laws.