Farmers targeted by animal rights lobby
Protesters against animals being eaten, raced or worked have stepped up their campaign to bring an end to all animal farming.
WHERE IT BEGAN
* Late last year animal rights activists entered Queensland dairy, pig and poultry farms without permission.
* In December protesters entered a poultry factory through a side entrance in Mount Cotton, south of Brisbane.
* In January police charged a man and a woman after they allegedly stole two pigs and 13 chickens from Sunshine Coast properties.
* In January animal rights charity Aussie Farms published the locations and contact details of Australian farming and animal-related properties.
* It maps horse racing tracks, butchers and abattoirs, fisheries, showground holding pens, greyhound breeders, meat processing facilities, chicken farms, knackeries, piggeries, sheep and cattle stations and rodeo grounds.
* The Aussie Farms website lists issues connected to the farming of various animals, including genetic alterations, how they are grown, confined and treated.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
* Queensland Farmers Federation called on the state government to increase punishments for trespassers on farming properties.
* It said the map being made public caused a biosecurity risk.
* Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said he would write and ask the Charities Commission to consider revoking Aussie Farms’ charity status.
* Mr Littleproud said he would also ask the Attorney-General to consider whether the Information Commissioner could investigate if publishing addresses online breached privacy rights.
* The federal government later said activists could face fines up to $420,000 for trespassing on private farming properties.
A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
* On Saturday hundreds of animal rights activists rallied outside Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne as part of a global protest calling for an end to slaughterhouses.
* On Sunday the Gippy Goat Cafe in West Gippsland said it would close after months of harassment from activists.
* The Queensland government said it was creating a joint taskforce of police and Agriculture department officials to focus on the escalating protests.
* It plans new regulations so authorities can issue on-the-spot fines to deter further protests, without having to wait for property owners to make a complaint to police.
* Those regulations will be introduced under the Biosecurity Act, because the government says it is possible activists are travelling overseas where they are potentially being exposed to diseases they will then carry onto properties.
* On Monday activists marched into abattoirs in Queensland and NSW, and blocked a major Melbourne CBD intersection during morning peak hour.
* Littleproud said the federal government had done its bit by bringing Aussie Farms under the Privacy Act, meaning misuse of personal information contained in its farming map would carry fines.
* He called on states and territories to increase penalties for trespass.