Dairy News

Queensland moves on activists

By Geoff Adams

 Animal rights activists who trespass on Queensland farms and abattoirs to protest will be slapped with fines worth hundreds of dollars under regulation changes that will take effect in days.

Fines of more than six hundred dollars will be issued by police or biosecurity officers as part of a state government crackdown on a spate of protests that began last year.

The government announced on Sunday the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 will be amended to include the penalty for those considered to be a threat to biosecurity and animal and worker welfare

.Activists could also face trespass charges and potentially jail time, but only after farmers and business owners make a complaint to police.

"We take animal welfare very seriously and so does an overwhelming majority of our agricultural businesses," Agricultural Industry Development Minister Mark Furner said.

The protests began late last year when animal rights activists entered dairy, pig and poultry farms without permission.That action has continued along with protests in other states, leading Mr Furner to claim activists might have imported foot-and-mouth disease from Indonesia.