VFF welcomes inquiry into farm trespass laws
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) welcomes bipartisan support from the Coalition and Labor for the successful motion in Parliament yesterday for an inquiry into the effectiveness of legislation to prevent trespass and harassment on farms and other supply chain businesses.
“After the unprecedented rise in farm invasions from extreme animal activists and the ridiculously inadequate trespass fines in Victoria; this inquiry is long overdue,” said Mr David Jochinke, VFF President.
“Animal activists appear determined to disrupt legal businesses, risk animal health by breaching biosecurity, and use force and intimidation against farmers in pursuit of their personal beliefs.
“The fear of farm invasions and harassment from animal activists is very real for our members. On top of all the other challenges they are facing, farmers cannot be expected to live in fear every day.
“This issue is too important to be politicised. I thank Melina Bath for putting forward the motion in Parliament, and Jaclyn Symes for giving the motion bipartisan support and supplying an amendment that expands the inquiry.
“We hope one outcome of this inquiry is greater penalties to deter trespassers and those wishing to harass and intimidate farmers. However, it’s also important for the agriculture sector to engage with consumers to build greater knowledge about food and fibre production in Victoria, and the importance farmers place on animal health and welfare.
“For those who choose not to consume animal products, they are fortunate in Australia to have an agricultural industry that provides them with wealth of choice. We encourage all consumers to exercise their choice and to support their local Victorian farmers whenever possible.
“As a key stakeholder for Victorian farmers, I look forward to engaging with the Economy and Infrastructure Committee for this inquiry and reading the final report in November this year,” said Mr Jochinke.
David Jochinke, VFF President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589