Activists should be held to account
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Activists should be held to account

The Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture was in Bairnsdale today for its first hearing, with the committee being told those who break the law should be held to account.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who requested and was granted a hearing in East Gippsland, said he was pleased presenters made a number of pertinent points to the committee of Victorian Upper House MP’s.
“Perhaps the most relevant point raised was that these invasions are illegal and come with significant biosecurity risk, so to have a $1 fine handed down to perpetrators, was a penalty not in line with community expectations or consistent with the crime.
“Also of note was the repeated comment that farm invasions in fact produce poor animal welfare outcomes as they stress the animals greatly; and the example was given of a number of chickens that were suffocated by activists in a so called rescue attempt.
“It is my personal hope that from this Inquiry, we have some minimum sentences put in place for these illegal and risky actions,” said Mr Bull.
The committee has to report back to Parliament in February 2020 and while this was the first public hearing, Mr Bull said he looks forward to following the progress of this Inquiry over the coming months.
“We need changes that provide more protections for our farmers and make law breakers responsible for their actions,” he said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull pictured with Nazih Elasmar, Chairman of the Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee at today’s hearing in Bairnsdale into the impact of animal rights activism on Victorian agriculture.