The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) President David Jochinke presented today at the Inquiry into the
Impact of Animal Rights Activism to ask for farm trespass penalties to be strengthened to $220,000 for
individuals and $400,000 for organisations, and $1,000 on-the-spot fines.
“Earlier this year, more than 70 activists stormed the Gippy Goat Café, intimidated staff, entered stock yards,
and repeatedly stole livestock. The ringleader of this group received a grand total of two $1 fines. Another
activist was found guilty of theft but received zero penalties from the court,” said Mr Jochinke.
“The purpose of the Inquiry is to determine if current laws are effective in preventing and deterring activists
from trespassing on farms. How could they be effective when the courts are handing out such pitiful
“By their own admission, activists willfully defy the law without fear of consequences. They continue to
invade family farms and even repeatedly attack the same farm over a series of weeks.
“Tougher laws are required because trespass on farm properties presents particular risks that do not exist in
other workplaces such as risks to personal safety, animal welfare, biosecurity and public health.
“Most importantly, farm trespass is akin to home invasion. Farms are not only a place of work, but are the
homes of our farming families.
“After hearing the shocking stories of farming families harassed by activists, I hope Parliament will have no
doubt in their minds - we need tougher laws to protect our farming families and deter invaders,” said Mr
David Jochinke, VFF President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589
About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a
positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our
members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social
licence in a community that respects and values the sector.