The so-called “worlds biggest” animal rights protest fell flat yesterday as the public and Australia’s political leaders rallied in support of our farmers.
Animal rights groups Dominion and Aussie Farms – the creators of the activist attack map – planned to stage coordinated protests around the country on Monday 8 April.
According to the Dominion Facebook event, the coordinated protests were supposed to be the “biggest animal rights direct action the world has ever seen”.
What eventuated was a few dozen protesters shutting down one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections, plus protests at one Queensland dairy farm, and meat processors in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
The abattoir protests saw protesters chain themselves to equipment; shutting down operations for a number of hours. Some protesters refused to leave the premises unless they were given three lambs to take with them.
Meanwhile the on-farm protest saw heifers end up on public roads after being startled by protesters.
The main event was at Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD where 38 people were arrested and traffic was disrupted during peak hour, leaving many commuters as well as emergency services such as ambulances inconvenienced.
A group of protesters also chained themselves at the entrance of the Melbourne Aquarium.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison came out and called the actions of “green collared criminals” “shameful” and “un-Australian”.
The PM also announced that the Commonwealth was prepared to support landholders if they wanted to launch legal action against animal rights extremists protesting on their farms.
“This is just another form of activism that I think runs against the national interest, and the national interest is being able to farm their own land,” Mr Morrison said.
National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) CEO Tony Mahar slammed the behaviour of protesters saying their actions are deeply concerning.
“They are forcing their philosophical views onto other parts of the community.
“Farmers are law abiding, hard working citizens going about their daily jobs of producing all the food and fibre that Australians love.
“They have had to put up with drought, floods and fires. And now – now they have to deal with these radical extremists coming on to their businesses, terrifying them, and invading their homes.
“It’s a really serious development and we appreciate the community’s support to in rallying against this behaviour.”
Since the launch of the Aussie Farms map in January, agricultural representatives have been calling for tougher trespass laws and action to strip radical groups of their charity status.
The National Farmers’ Federation has started a campaign to #ProtectOurFarms, calling for the government to take further action on the above issues. Sign the petition here.