Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, accused the Greens of supporting the illegal activities of vigilantes who target animal industries with the intent of shutting them down.
The Greens refused to support Senator McKenzie’s Notice of Motion (attached) in the senate that condemns the actions of vigilantes who trespass onto farm properties and covertly film operations.
The motion was lodged and seconded by Coalition Senator, Chris Back, in response to repeated offences and the delayed public release of footage of alleged mistreatment rather than to authorities to investigate.
“The motion called on vigilantes to respect the laws and present any animal mistreatment allegations immediately and directly to authorities,” Senator McKenzie said.
“These so called activists are not acting in the interest of any animal that is allegedly being mistreated by holding on to such footage until a time that suits them. Such delays make it incredibly difficult for authorities to investigate and take the appropriate action.”
Speaking on the motion tonight, Senator McKenzie said the extent of intrusion on farm properties is a breach of privacy that is distressing for the owners and their families, and the animals.
“What is disturbing is that such behaviour has been condoned by Greens senator, Lee Rhiannon, who likes to think these law-breaking vigilantes are somewhat heroic `undercover investigators’,” she said.
“Just yesterday, here in the senate, Senator Rhiannon, again refused to condemn these actions and opposed the Notice of Motion. I have no doubt the Australian parliament rejects any form of animal cruelty and backs the good practices of our farmers. It’s a pity the Greens prefer to back animal terrorists.
“Senator Rhiannon’s stance is also at odds with her own party’s `Keeping Farmers on the Land’ policy which focuses on protecting farm jobs and acknowledges the challenges farmers endure to make a living from the land. The activities of her vigilante friends have the opposite agenda.
“These animal industries being targeted by vigilantes all adhere to strict welfare codes and do not tolerate rogue operators. They also significantly contribute to the national economy and employ thousands of people. No sane person would intentionally set out to shut them down.”
NOTICE OF MOTION
Senators McKenzie and Back: To move—That the Senate—
(a) notes with concern that:
(i) the activities of vigilantes on private farm property, and the covert filming of operations, is trespassing and is illegal, and
(ii) such activities are distressing to the animals, staff and owners, and disrupt the operation of legitimate businesses;
(b) acknowledges the risk of such activities introducing biosecurity threats through the spread of disease that can be detrimental to animals and the viability of farm businesses;
(c) condemns such illegal actions;
(d) calls on vigilantes to respect the laws, and present any animal mistreatment allegations immediately and directly to authorities; and
(e) acknowledges the strong animal husbandry skills of Australian farmers and does not tolerate animal cruelty in any form.