Debunked: 'Urgent Warning' Animal Activists Are Tampering With Cattle Trucks
A bright yellow graphic with an "urgent warning" for farmers has been circulating in recent days. But by all accounts, it appears to be fake.
The graphic is pitched to "all cattle truck drivers" and warns of possible vehicle tampering by vegan and animal activists who are "pulling the rear pins on stationary cattle crates".
"Please check your vehicles for tampering!" it reads.
Roadhouses, or pit stops for truck drivers, are supposedly issuing the warnings, according to the graphic that has been shared on several Facebook pages and personal accounts.
But there is no indication who exactly is behind them, nor when or where the activity has taken place.
The graphic was shared by one Queensland-based page, 'Queensland through your eyes' that has just under 7000 likes on Facebook, on Monday morning. By Tuesday evening, after 10 daily contacted the page for comment, it had been removed.
It was shared on public Facebook group 'Australian Political Issues (Real Issues Real Debates'' last Thursday and has since been shared 24,000 times.
At a time when struggling farmers and animal activists are at a knife's edge, the easily-shared warning could be cause for concern for authorities who are on high alert after a spate of incidents across the country.
But without a location or more specific detail, authorities are not convinced it is legitimate.
A spokesperson for Queensland Police told 10 daily its rural policing area advised they have had no reports of this type of tampering.
A similar response came from NSW Police, who said: "nothing has come across their [rural crime area's] radar or been reported to NSW Police".
"We are not aware of this nor have we received any reports at this time," a spokesman for South Australia Police also told 10 daily.
The National Farmers Federation confirmed it was not aware of the warning, nor subsequent reports.
The warning comes amid tightening pressure on animal rights activists, who Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently denounced as "green-collared criminals" following protests around Australia.
Almost 50 people were charged over protests in Victoria and NSW last month as part of a 'Day of Action' that saw activists storm agricultural properties and block the streets in Melbourne's CBD.
Animal rights charity Aussie Farms is also under the spotlight for a map publishing the locations and contact details of Australian farming and animal-related properties in January.
Privacy laws were changed last month to potentially expose Aussie Farms' website to significant penalties for publishing farmers' addresses and contact details.
Featured image: Facebook