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Alert: Caution recommended regarding animal activists Aussie Farms Inc and potential protest activity planned for Monday, April 8

Australian Organic has been made aware that animal activist operations are due to take place on Monday, April 8, at various farms around Australia. We are urging all organic producers to be vigilant and aware of possible disruption.

A note has been posted to social media from registered charity Aussie Farms Inc announcing that “collaborative activity” has been planned for this day as part of a major worldwide animal rights activation. The group alerted its participants on Facebook saying: “In order to protect the plans from sabotage, they will be kept completely private. We ask that you respect this by not asking details about the plans on the day and also not speculating what might be planned. It’s important to not communicate about any plans, known or speculative on any form of electronic communication.”

Tony Maher, CEO of the National Farmers Federation, which Australian Organic recently joined as a member, has already raised concerns about the group’s activities with Australian Federal Police, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the Shadow Attorney General and the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation.

Specifically, the NFF has highlighted the following points:

  • As the peak representative body for Australian farmers, the NFF objects to the ongoing and unjustified attacks on those farmers by Aussie Farms Inc. Of particular concern is Aussie Farms’ recent campaign which saw the launch of an interactive map providing detailed information about more than 3,000 individual farms and processing businesses.
  • The campaign insinuates that the farms on the map are guilty of animal cruelty and encourages supporters to capture and upload images and other information about these properties. This effectively incites Aussie Farms’ supporters to trespass and intimidate, putting at risk the wellbeing of farming families and the animals in their care. This sort of behaviour is not consistent with the standards required of a registered charitable organisation, and jeopardises public trust and confidence in the charity sector regulated by ACNC.
  • Aussie Farms has been implicated in criminal behaviour in the past, and the group openly seeks to engage its volunteers to undertake illegal activities. For example, prospective volunteers complete an online form to indicate whether they are able to enter private commercial properties for investigative purposes and whether they are ‘willing to be fined or arrested’. The Aussie Farms group is philosophically opposed to the keeping of animals by humans, and its campaigns aim to undermine farming and agriculture in Australia.

The NFF and Australian Organic are requesting that all organic farming producers share and communicate intelligence on any such activities that they know of and become aware of in regards to the day in question, or any other day. This type of behaviour, while potentially animal sector focused, has an impact across the entire industry, so producers need to stand united and coordinated in their vigilance.

The NFF, which has the full support of Australian Organic, will continue to keep relevant authorities clearly informed of the views and impact these operations are having on the industry, community and individuals. It will continue to follow up and demand action on the issues of penalties, changes to privacy laws and charitable status. As of yet The NFF has not received an adequate response, but will persist in seeking change.