The Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has welcomed the introduction of the Agriculture and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 by the Queensland Government yesterday, which imposes greater penalties on animal activists who could now face up to one year in jail for trespassing on farm land or be fined more than $60,000.
With the Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee also currently considering the LNP Opposition’s Private Members Bill that proposes three new criminal trespass offences, QFF was looking for bipartisan action from the State Parliament to increase and implement effective punishments for animal activists trespassing on farmers’ properties.
QFF CEO Travis Tobin welcomed continued action to legislate punishments that better reflect the crimes being committed and encouraged the Queensland Parliament to work together to find a lasting solution to protect farmers, their families and their businesses.
“Over the past couple of years, the actions of animal activists towards legitimate businesses have become more disruptive and extreme. These actions invade farmers’ privacy, threaten the welfare of their animals, pose unacceptable risks to their businesses and have implications for food security,” Mr Tobin said.
“A law is the product of the social conditions at the time it is made, it is not static and should change to respond to the current social and political values of a community.”
“The current offence of unlawfully entering farming land does not meet the expectations of farmers and the community in punishing and preventing future offences of trespass on farms and does not reflect the potential risk to farming businesses.”
“QFF and member industries have been constructively working with the Queensland Government and Opposition for some time to better address this issue.”
“It is incumbent upon the Parliament to ensure it works together to deliver adequate protections for Queenslanders running law-abiding businesses without the threat of disruptive, costly and damaging unlawful actions from a minority element in the community.”