Animal activists charged over protests at Yangan abattoir and Millmerran feedlot



By Michael Rennie

Updated

April 17, 2019 07:51:36

Detectives have charged 11 animal rights activists from across South-East Queensland with trespassing, after protests at a Yangan abattoir in April, and at a Millmerran cattle feedlot last month.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said the charges followed formal complaints from the owners of the properties.

“The Queensland Police Service respects the right of people to protest in a peaceful manner, however we have a duty to ensure the safety of protesters, farm workers and property owners,” Detective Superintendent Wacker said.

“Unauthorised protests in and around farmlands and industrial areas create significant personal and workplace safety risks.

“We will take enforcement action whenever necessary to ensure the safety of the community and to protect the rights of people to feel safe in their homes and at their place of work.”

The protesters will face court in coming days on 18 charges including trespassing and drug offences.

Two people were previously charged with trespass and will face court in May.

About 20 people allegedly chained themselves to equipment at a Yangan abattoir, south-west of Brisbane, earlier this month as part of an organised nationwide protest with others infiltrating abattoirs in Goulburn, New South Wales and in Laverton in Melbourne.

Activists also halted traffic at Melbourne’s Flinders Street intersection during peak hour.

The action marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the documentary Dominion, which looks into practices employed daily on Australian livestock farms.

The protests prompted the Queensland Government to draft new laws cracking down on activists who invade farms and abattoirs.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said “militant” animal rights activists will, from the end of this month, face $652.75 fines issued either on the spot or after review of evidence from the protest site.

The fines will be issued by police or biosecurity officers.

“The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 will be amended to include this new penalty aimed squarely at animal activists who consider their cause is above the law,” Mr Furner said in a statement.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

activism-and-lobbying,

courts-and-trials,

law-crime-and-justice,

livestock,

rural,

livestock-welfare,

sheep-production,

beef-cattle,

millmerran-4357,

qld,

australia,

toowoomba-4350,

brisbane-4000,

yangan-4371

First posted

April 17, 2019 07:12:26



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