A $650 fine for a terrifying home invasion is considered manifestly inadequate by community & industry according to AgForce CEO Michael Guerin.
The Queensland Government yesterday announced that by the end of April, militant animal rights activists will face fines of $652.75 issued either on the spot or after review of evidence from the protest site. The fines will be issued by Police or biosecurity officers.
AgForce, a member of the State Government's Animal Industry Security Taskforce, commended the Minister for moving so quickly to protect farming families from militant activists, but said the level of the fine was virtually a slap on the wrist for such zealots, who wouldn't pay the fines anyway.
"We thank the Queensland Government for their quick action, but much more needs to be done to stop these radical activists overrunning farms and frightening families.
"Animal rights extremists who illegally invade farms are putting the lives of farmers, their families and their employees at risk.
"They also pose a serious threat to biosecurity, and actually cause a great amount distress to the very animals they say they're trying to protect.
"Farmers take the issue of animal welfare very seriously. They just want to be allowed to go about their absolutely ethical and legal business."
Mr Guerin said the penalties for farm invasions needed to better reflect the crimes being committed.
He also called for calm and caution among farmers and their employees.
"Everyone needs to remember that what these activists want more than anything is for a hard-working farmer to react to their needless provocation. That's the type of publicity they're really after.
"We understand that being subjected to the kind of terror being perpetrated by these attention seekers is frightening. It does make people want to defend themselves.
"But that's why it's as important now as it's ever been to remain calm and let the Queensland Police Service handle it."