VEGANS: Palaszczuk hits activists with harsh new penalties

ANIMAL rights "zealots" will be stung with on-the-spot fines if they're found invading farms in a major crackdown against new age activism by the Palaszczuk Government.

Under new regulations being drafted, police and agricultural department officers will have the power to issue hefty fines which The Sunday Mail understands could reach hundreds of dollars.

It comes amid a wave of vegan activism which has even hit Australian supermarkets where stickers warning of cancer and heart disease have been placed on meat and dairy products.

Agricultural Minister Mark Furner said as a consequence of this "new and completely inappropriate era of activism", the Palaszczuk Government was drawing a line in the sand.

100 Animal Liberationists walked into a Millmerran feedlot. Picture: animalliberationphotography
100 Animal Liberationists walked into a Millmerran feedlot. Picture: animalliberationphotography

"These activities create a serious biosecurity issue as well as putting the lives of farmers, workers and indeed animals at risk," Mr Furner said.

"We are getting tough on farm invaders because their actions are dangerous."

The activists have outraged farmers and politicians alike in recent weeks, after a group allegedly walked onto Lemontree Feedlot near Millmerran in the Darling Downs region last month.

Police charged a 29-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man from Margate on Friday with trespass.

A major protest is also planned in Queensland for Sunday, with a Facebook event telling activists to meet at 1.45am and to ensure fuel tanks are full.

No location is given however the event says Brisbane.

The new fines, which are to be created under the Biosecurity Act 2014, means the law would meet the activists at the farm gate, compared to pursuing trespassing charges.

A special taskforce will also be joined between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the police's intelligence unit to focus specifically on animal activism.

It will put processes in place to de-escalate situations while also providing procedures for farms to collect evidence.

A major protest is also planned in Queensland for Sunday, with a Facebook event telling activists to meet at 1.45am and to ensure fuel tanks are full. Picture: animalliberationphotography
A major protest is also planned in Queensland for Sunday, with a Facebook event telling activists to meet at 1.45am and to ensure fuel tanks are full. Picture: animalliberationphotography

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government was backing farmers.

"We want our farmers to get on with their job, to be able to work in a stress-free environment and not have activists, who are coming mainly from interstate to Queensland, causing them distress, which has an impact on our export industry as well," she said.

"I do not believe anyone would believe that it is acceptable for people to cause this distress to hardworking families who work hard on the land."

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the new fines would give police and department officers a new tool to combat illegal and dangerous behaviour.

"The Queensland Police Service will play an important proactive role in the taskforce, making sure farmers and animal carers have the information they need to maintain safety and report incidents quickly," he said.

"Activists considering invading a farm or animal exhibition are now on notice that their activities are illegal and carry heavier consequences."

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud also warned activists this week of the $420,000 fine they faced if they were found to have improperly used personal information.