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AgForce Slams ‘Inadequate’ Fines

Filed under Breaking News, Front3, Latest News, Rural

AgForce CEO Mike Guerin
(Photo: AgForce)

April 16, 2019

AgForce says the State Government’s $652 fine for farm “invaders” is manifestly inadequate.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin thanked the State Government for their quick action, but said much more needed to be done to stop radical activists overrunning farms and frightening families.

The State Government has announced that by the end of April, militant animal rights activists will face fines of $652.75 issued either on-the-spot or after a review of evidence.

AgForce, a member of the State Government’s Animal Industry Security Taskforce, commended the Minister for moving quickly to protect farming families from militant activists, but said the level of the fine was virtually a slap on the wrist for such zealots, who wouldn’t pay the fines anyway.

“Animal rights extremists who illegally invade farms are putting the lives of farmers, their families and their employees at risk,” Mr Guerin said.

“They also pose a serious threat to biosecurity, and actually cause a great amount distress to the very animals they say they’re trying to protect.

“Farmers take the issue of animal welfare very seriously. They just want to be allowed to go about their absolutely ethical and legal business.”

Mr Guerin said the penalties for farm invasions needed to better reflect the crimes being committed.

He also called for calm and caution among farmers and their employees.

“Everyone needs to remember that what these activists want more than anything is for a hard-working farmer to react to their needless provocation,” he said.

“That’s the type of publicity they’re really after.

“We understand that being subjected to the kind of terror being perpetrated by these attention-seekers is frightening. It does make people want to defend themselves.

“But that’s why it’s as important now as it’s ever been to remain calm and let the Queensland Police Service handle it.”

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One Response to AgForce Slams ‘Inadequate’ Fines

  1. Ben

    Fair crack, what is being played at here? This result was endorsed by Agforce in previous article, along with the police and the Department of Agriculture. So why is Agforce now complaining? Perhaps there’s more to it. Perhaps – given the broadly anti-Labor mantra in regions – this looks a little too much like an ag group endorsing Labor? That won’t sit well with status quo, especially during election, will it?

    Worse, it’s easy to foresee that raising an emotive response by claiming fines are inadequate will inspire some landholders to think “Well, if that’s all they get why follow the law?” Yet Agforce is calling for calm, as are the police who know that ramping up emotion will result in already stressed farmers defending themselves poorly until someone gets hurt and landholder, too, becomes a criminal.

    Those in a position of influence who are trying to ramp up emotive responses are playing a very dangerous game, and one that can lead to very negative results.

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