Next lot of vegan activists face on-the-spot fines
BY APRIL 28 activists who enter farms, feedlots or abattoirs without permission will be slapped with a $652.75 one-the-spot fine.
It will be issued by either police or Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries biosecurity officers.
Activists who move from farm to farm will face separate fines for each property they visit.
Unlike the current penalties for trespassing, the new fines will not require a complaint from the affected property owner before police take action.
Protesters could face follow-up fines and potentially jail time if the landholder presses additional trespassing charges.
The new fines are an amendment to the Biosecurity Regulation 2016 and do not require any change legislation through parliament.
It will take about two weeks to amend the regulations.
None of the activists who entered Carey Bros Yangan Abattoir a week ago have been fined or arrested, despite a heavy police presence during their protest.
Five people are due to face the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on May 9 charged with trespassing at the Lemontree feedlot in Millmerran.
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 Bostock Rd property.
Queensland Minister for Agricultural and Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said farm and abattoir invasions were unacceptable.
"We take animal welfare very seriously and so does an overwhelming majority of our agricultural businesses." he 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."