Politicians Are Backing Farmers Against Vegans
Australian farmers targeted by animal activists have been strongly supported by politicians who are promising tougher laws to protect their livelihoods.
Federal and state politicians are going into bat for Aussie farmers who have been under attack by animal activists in a cross-border campaign.
Vegan protesters launched a campaign targeting a busy Melbourne street, abattoirs and farms in Victoria, NSW and Queensland on Monday, prompting a renewed call for farmers to take action and a federal government agreement to underwrite legal claims.
Attorney-General Christian Porter wrote to Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk to consider investigating Under the Privacy Act the group allegedly behind the activism.
"There are strong grounds to conclude that Aussie Farms Inc is engaging in a systematic effort in collecting, using and disclosing personal information to the detriment of farmers and agricultural producers," the letter dated on Monday states.
Mr Porter also wrote to the state and territory attorneys-general and police ministers to urge them to tighten up their criminal trespass laws.
Privacy laws were changed last Friday which exposed Aussie Farms' website to significant penalties for publishing farmers' addresses and contact details.
Nationals senator John Williams told Sky News that fines were not good enough and there was "a limit to what the farmers will put up with".
"Farmers are not violent people. But when these people go out there and cut the fence and let the livestock out on the road, well farmers might get angry," he said on Monday.
"And if the chips are down a bit, with the drought etc, you never know what they might do. There might be a punch-up, there might be someone hurt or whatever.
"But these people are promoting the wrong by stirring up and breaking the law."
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed the actions of Aussie Farms as being "un-Australian" while speaking on 2GB radio.
He said it was wrong that farmers should be targeted when they are doing it tough during the drought.
Queensland's Agriculture Minister Mark Furner has pushed for farmers to help police by gathering evidence against the vegan "zealots".
"What they are doing is breaching the law. I'm extremely angry and have really had a gutful of these people."
Mr Furner promised on-the-spot fines for activists would be rolled out within weeks.
Monday's protests coincided with the first anniversary of a film documentary, lobbying against animal cruelty.
"The industry is telling people these animals are being killed ethically, that they are being killed humanely. The reality is ... it's the furthest thing from humane," documentary director Chris Delforce told AAP.
The group wants state and federal agricultural ministers to "acknowledge cruelty in the process of killing animals for food, clothing and entertainment" and to add warning labels on animal products.