Calls For Tougher Trespass Laws Following Benalla Abattoir Incursion
Victoria’s strict anti-trespass laws
Farm Transparency Project
Seven animal activists who allegedly broke into an abattoir in north-east Victoria and chained themselves to machinery have been charged with trespassing.
After allegedly breaking into the pig processing facility, some protesters chained themselves onto a gas chamber, while others went up to the roof of the abattoir with placards.
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Police confirmed that seven protesters, including three men and four women aged between 23 and 53, have been charged with trespass offences.
A Victorian Government spokesperson said the state had some of Australia’s toughest penalties for farm trespassing.
State Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland called for tougher trespassing laws as activists continuously targeted local businesses.
“This business has operated for 25 years and employs 40 people across the north-east,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Workers shouldn’t have to be confronted by these abusive and threatening working conditions when they’re simply trying to earn a living.
“This is not a legitimate protest. It hurts businesses, employees and the community, and it should be condemned and stamped out."
A Victorian Government spokesperson said trespassers threatened the processing facilities and Victorian biosecurity system, which used to protect Victoria’s agriculture industry from pests and disease.
“On-the-spot fines can be issued, and for serious offences, trespassers could be fined up to $55,476,” the Victorian Government’s spokesperson said.
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