Activists who invade farms or animal processing businesses could face a double-whammy, with fines for breaching biosecurity on top of penalties for trespassing.
Acting Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Anthony Lynham, said anybody thinking of illegally entering a farm or animal processing business had better be ready to wear a heavy cost.
“We have already seen multiple activists fined up to $1300 in the Magistrates Court for trespass, and a number forced to pay restitution to an affected business,” Lynham said.
“Under our new fines regime, such farm invaders will now also face the additional prospect of being fined $652.17 for breaching biosecurity.
“They need to understand that they can face both fines for breaching biosecurity and heavy fines or even jail for trespassing on farms.”
Lynham said the Queensland State Government had moved quickly to institute the new fines after a feed lot invasion at Millmerran and an abattoir was targeted at Yangan.
The move was in consultation with the Animal Industry Security Taskforce comprising officials from the Department of Agriculture, Police, AgForce and the Queensland Farmers Federation.
“Farm invasions put at risk the safety of our farmers, their workers and the very animals that these activists claim to care about,” Lynham said.
“We take animal welfare very seriously and so does an overwhelming majority of our agricultural businesses.”