Vegan activist group loses charity status
Animal rights group Vegan Rising has lost its charity status following an investigation by the national regulator.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission on Tuesday revoked Vegan Rising's charity tax concessions and registration, which it has held since September 2017.
The group had been registered with the purpose of preventing or relieving the suffering of animals.
ACNC Commissioner Dr Gary Johns said revocation of a charity's registration was reserved for the most serious of cases.
"Our approach to regulation focuses on education and guidance first. However, when charities are unwilling to comply with their obligations, or fail to demonstrate commitment to their governance, then we will take stronger action," he said in a statement.
Although the revocation is displayed on the charity register, the ACNC is prevented from publishing the findings from the investigation, or the nature of the concerns raised, due to secrecy provisions in its governing laws.
Dozens of vegan activists obstructed the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne during peak-hour on April 8, demanding an end to animal husbandry.
They used three rental vans as part of the blockade, chanting for "animal liberation", with some also sitting on tram tracks and linking arms to stop police attempts to break them up.
Similar protests were also staged at regional Victorian abattoirs, condemned by farmers and some politicians.
Vegan Rising's website describes the organisation as having one objective - "to help create a vegan world".
Last month the charity status was stripped from Aussie Farms, which has similar aims to Vegan Rising.