'It's a form of terrorism': animal activists condemned
THE chairman of Australia's largest dairy co-operative has accused animal activists who have been invading farms as "terrorists".
Norco chairman Greg McNamara said his organisation is very worried about the welfare of farmers and their livestock as news that animal rights activists launched protests across the country, today.
"We are deeply concerned about these actions affecting the welfare of our farmers and their animals and we are doing meetings about this now," he said.
"Farmers are really worried and I see it as a form of terrorism."
Mr McNamara said farmers are not only worried about their own safety, they are fearful for their animals after stories of protesters allowing animals out of paddocks to roam on roads has been reported.
"Our farmers are very concerned not just about their safety but also about bio-security, contamination and OH&S issues," he said.
"Norco's farmers care for their animals humanely, let's face it, the better you look after animals the more productive they are."
Mr McNamara said he understood the philosophy behind the protests but questioned their actions.
"They appear to want to drive farmers off their livelihood," he said.
"I think we need legislation that protects the farmer and their animals."
NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro described the protesters as a "group of vigilantes" and accused them of bullying farmers.
"These are deliberate attempts to destroy our farming businesses," he said.
"Most of whom are hard working families that grow the food and fibre that we all consume on a day-to-day basis."
Police have moved on a number of animal rights activists across NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
The group Justice For Captives said the protests mark the one year anniversary of the Dominion documentary.
Dairy farmers near Warwick on Queensland's Southern Downs said they were confronted by activists outside their property about 6:30am, after they had left an earlier demonstration at an abattoir at Yangan.
Freestone farmer Jason Christensen said five or six cars pulled up near a herd of heifers and had scared the animals.
"We had about three heifers, they got out on the road, I don't know how they got out," he said.
"When we tried to get them to put them back in they (protesters) were standing in the way...the heifers were scared and didn't know what to do ... one tried to jump in through the fence."