Animal Activism Policy

Animal Activism Policy

Agreed to by the VFF Policy Council 

Meeting 179 

22 March 2023 

Policy Statement 

1. The VFF believes that animal activism activities present risks to biosecurity, animal health and welfare. All laws that apply to biosecurity, animal health, welfare must apply to animal activists who trespass on property and interact or threaten to interact with livestock. 

2. The VFF believes animal activism activities presents risks to the health, safety and wellbeing of farmers, their families and the agricultural workforce. The VFF opposes all activities by animal activists which may constitute criminal, bullying, intimidatory and harassing behaviour. 

3. The VFF believes laws concerning trespass, theft, vandalism and biosecurity are insufficient in preventing animal activists from entering farms and disrupting lawful farming operations. The VFF supports the strengthening of these laws in order to prevent animal activists from invading and disrupting farms and homes. 

4. The VFF supports any measures designed to prevent animal activists (individuals or organisations) from inciting others to undertake unlawful activities such as farm trespass. 

5. The VFF supports any measures that will empower law enforcement to sufficiently deal with animal activism and will help direct the courts in issuing appropriate penalties to animal activists who unlawfully trespass on farms and livestock related businesses (eg saleyards and abattoirs), including through the use of minimum fines and minimum prison sentences. 

6. The VFF opposes the publishing of farm business information or data (including contact and location information and imagery) without the consent of the farm business owner or manager. Such activity should constitute harassment and the VFF supports penalties for animal activists who publish this data without permission. Publishers such as social media companies should be held accountable for the information and data which is published on their platforms. 

7. The VFF believes governments must only seek to regulate animal agriculture industries based on peer reviewed science. Governments must not take any action to further regulate animal agricultural industries in direct reaction to the information that is distributed by animal activists. 

8. The VFF believes that government must not take any actions that seek to limit or prevent the production of animal agricultural products where legitimate markets for those products exist. 

9. The VFF opposes secondary campaigns and boycotts that target businesses which supply services to animal agricultural businesses, or that sell animal products that are produced in a lawful manner. The VFF supports any measures designed to protect businesses from such campaigns. 

10. The VFF opposes discriminatory corporate practices that seek to deny products and services to animal agriculture and associated businesses that are undertaking lawful operations.