Animal activists face $652.75 fines

Cop that: Qld Animal activists face $652.75 fines

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NEW RULES: Activists who invade farms and meatworks in Queensland are set to cop $652.75 fines. Photo: Nakita Leach

NEW RULES: Activists who invade farms and meatworks in Queensland are set to cop $652.75 fines. Photo: Nakita Leach

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Activists who invade farms and meatworks in Queensland are set to cop $652.75 fines.

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ACTIVISTS who invade farms and meatworks in Queensland will face $652.75 fines under new laws planned to come into force later this month.  

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 will be amended to include the new fine.

The new penalty is aimed squarely at animal activists following recent protests at Lemontree Feedlot, Millmerran and Carey Brothers Meatworks, Yangan.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the on-the-spot fines were a welcome new measure for police in combatting illegal and dangerous behaviour by reckless animal activists.

"Those breaking the law will soon be hit hard financially," Mr Ryan said.

"A taskforce established by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and supported by Queensland Police is also putting processes in place to de-escalate these tense situations and to maintain the safety of everyone involved."

The fines will be issued either on the spot or later, after a review of evidence from the protest site by either police and biosecurity officers.

Activists who move from location to location for multiple protests will face being slapped with multiple $652.75 on-the-spot fines.

The move was endorsed by the Animal Industry Security Taskforce comprising officials from the Department of Agriculture, Police, AgForce and the Queensland Farmers Federation when they met on April 11.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the escalation of farm and meatworks invasions was unacceptable.

"As well as on-the-spot fines, these disruptive and illegal protestors could also face the courts and possible jail time on trespass charges, once affected landowners complain officially to police and evidence supports their arrests," Mr Furner said.

"Animal rights zealots invading farms are a real threat to biosecurity and are putting their lives and the lives of farmers, workers and indeed the animals they claim to care about at risk.

"If they behave in this way then they will pay the price."

Five people are scheduled to face trespass charges in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on May 9, following a trespassing incident at a Millmerran property last month.

Initially charges were laid against a 29-year-old woman and 26-year-old man, both of Margate, who were alleged to be the principal organisers of a protest and trespassing incident at a Millmerran feedlot.

Investigations remain ongoing.

RELATED STORY: 'Carey Brothers abattoir targeted by 120 animal rights protesters'.

RELATED STORY: 'Police called after 100 activists 'invade' Millmerran feedlot ' Video'.

The story Animal activists face $652.75 fines first appeared on Farm Online.

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