Animal Rights Activists Shut Down Roads And Farms Across Australia
Animal liberation organisations are staging a series of protests across the country as part of a "Day of Action" by storming agricultural properties and standing in the streets in Melbourne's CBD.
In Queensland, around 20 animal rights activists chained themselves to equipment inside an abattoir in Yangan in the state's south-west at 2.30 this morning.
At an abattoir in Goulburn, NSW, protestors also chained themselves to equipment. NSW Police cut the group of nine from the chains and arrested them.
The nationwide protests were organised to mark the one-year anniversary of the release of the documentary Dominion, which investigated agricultural practices employed on Australian farms.
The agricultural industry has been on high alert in the run-up to the documentary's anniversary and Facebook groups suggest that multiple animal rights organisations have been involved in spurring the protests.
The Lost Earthlings, Vegan Rising, Melbourne Sheep Save, Justice for Captives, Aussie Farms, Animal Activists Australia and Legion DX Sydney are all organisations cited as administrators on one Facebook event page.
The organisers state that they "want people around the world to see that our work for animal rights is no longer a minority grassroots movement but instead a rapidly growing phenomenon that can't be stopped."
The page stipulates that the action of the protests "will be completely non-violent" and under "no circumstances will violence or retaliation from our side be acceptable."
Another abattoir protest in Victoria has seen animal rights activists block the road to G & K O'Connor Abattoir in Pakenham, which Animal Activists Australia is currently live streaming on Facebook.
In Melbourne, protesters have took to the streets of the CBD to stand with signs calling for the end of animal agriculture in Australia.
One protester told the Today Show that the protest "shows the truth about what’s happening to animals in Australia and all around the world."
The protester added that the demonstration was bringing the public's attention to the "climate emergency" associated with the continued consumption of animals.
While Victoria Police declined to make many arrests at the peaceful demonstration, they have now cleared protesters from the busy intersection. However, the protesters have now moved their demonstration to Melbourne Aquarium where they have reportedly chained themselves together.
The protests have been preceded by increasing animal rights activism across the country in the past few months, with more than 100 activists descending on a feedlot in southern Queensland to take photos and drone footage of cattle last month.
One intensive campaign against the Gippy Goat Cafe in Victoria has led to the cafe's closure today, after the owners stated that consistent harassment from activists has compromised the well-being of staff and visitors.
Queensland Police Service have announced that they have established a joint taskforce with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to gather information about this extremist animal activism.
Police Minister Mark Ryan has said that peaceful protests will be tolerated but unlawful demonstrations and invasions of private property are unacceptable.
Ryan stated that the new taskforce will be monitoring Facebook activity of animal liberation groups to ensure that police are present to get "the right people in the right place at the right time".
Australian Farmers are encouraging the public to report any Facebook posts of illegal activism that they come across today.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticised the protests as "un-Australian" on 2GB, stating that the demonstrations are "just another form of activism that I think runs against the national interest, and the national interest is being able to farm their own land."
More to come.