As vegan activism get out of hand around the country, many farmers feel defenceless on their own properties against their vicious protests.
After trespassing onto a farmer’s property, and then stealing live stock, six people have been charged in relation taking their protests a step too far.
It will be alleged that the offences occurred between August 2018 and February 2019 at farming properties in the Nambeelup, Hopeland, West Pinjarra, Benger and Mundijong.
During these incidents, individuals entered the properties without permission or legal purpose, and on two occasions animals had been stolen
A 25 year old woman from Morley has been charged with:
– Aggravated burglary and commit
– Two counts of Trespass
A 25 year old man from East Perth has been charged with:
– Aggravated Burgarly and commit
A 21 year old woman from Yangebup has been charged with:
– Two counts of aggravated burglary and commit
– two counts of stealing
– two counts of trespass
A 23 year old man from Warnbro has been charged with two counts of trespass
A 30 year old woman from Heathridge has been charged with one count of trespass
A 36 year old woman from Waroona has been charged with Receiving
They are due to appear in mandurah magistrates court on Tuesday 30th April.
The WA Police Force would like to remind members of the community that they have a right to voice their concerns through protest activity, as long as that protest activity is conducted professionally and lawfully.
WA Police Regional Commander, Adam Allan, advised farmers to remain calm, call the police and record what’s occurring, to help identify and resolve these matters.
“Undoubtedly people trespassing onto your land is concerning, but we’ve been very clear with industry about ‘calm the farm’ message,” he said.
WA Police said this will be a continuous focus going forward, with hopes charges being laid will deter others from committing similar acts.
“People are held accountable, logically you’d think twice before doing a similar act,” Commander Allan commented.
President of the Pastoralists and Grazers Association WA, said it’s time that these aggravated protests are being taken seriously enough so the people are getting charged for the illegal things they’re doing.
“If you dont like something, everyone has a right to say they don’t like it, no one has the right to ram their views down the throats of other people,”
“This has gotten to the point where they’re not just maintaining their own view on the subject, they’re trying to inflict that view on everybody else,” he stated.
Not only are there worries over famers protecting their land, but there are also biosecurity concerns for livestock and the potential for ignorant protestors to be injured.
Poultry and pig operations are quarantined for biosecurity reasons, as the farmers don’t want any infections transferred in there.
Mr Seabrook said people grow up thinking these animals are benign, and they won’t hurt you, but they could very easily.
“If someone got into a piggery, and consequently injured themselves and became unconscious, these pigs will eat you. They’re not vicious but they get curious and if someone was unconscious in a pen of pigs, in a few hours they will eat you,” he explained.
He also said when getting into a pen with cattle, there’s a very high chance that a spooked animal can turn around and crush you against the fence.
Mr Seabrook thinks stronger penalties need to be enforced, to make them reconsider their aggressive activism.
“These people are zealots… they have far more passion than common sense,”
“At the end of the day, a slap on the wrist is not a deterrent for doing what they’re doing. There needs to be something in place that makes them well and truly reconsider what they might be about to do and then not proceed,” he said.
He also highlighted these protests are now regarded as a meaningful crime, as they are not only jeopardising themselves, but also the owner the business who’s property they’re trespassing on.
“The law needs to come to a balance that actually discourages these people from doing these acts, and encourage them to voice their opinions in a more civilised matter,” Mr Seabrook said.
Anyone with information regarding these kinds of activities is asked to contact crime stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to make a report online at crimestopperswa.com.au