Leah Ava Whetten was charged with unlawfully entering Glasshouse Country Farm in December last year, when she and about 100 others
Leah Ava Whetten was charged with unlawfully entering Glasshouse Country Farm in December last year, when she and about 100 others "stormed” the Beerburrum piggery. FILE

Vegan activist who 'stormed' piggery slammed for arrogance

A VEGAN activist who was among a group that "stormed" a piggery and handled piglets "suckling from their mothers" returned to court for targeting the Beerburrum business.

Leah Ava Whetton was among about 100 protesters police identified in social media photos and videos the group shared after they entered Glasshouse Country Farms on December 1 last year.

The court heard the 1000-sow piggery produced for human consumption, was subject to strict internal and external regulation and must maintain "optimal management of persons entering the facility" for biosecurity safety.

Whetton pleaded guilty in the Maroocydore Magistrates Court today after she attempted to enter a "reluctant" plea in writing.

Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said Whetton's letter to the court showed no remorse and claimed she was "rescuing or saving animals from a bad situation".

He said he was not there to debate how the animals were treated, and there was no evidence the business had acted unlawfully.

"You're just a bunch of people deciding they will trespass onto land and stick their nose in somebody else's business," he said. "I accept you meant well... but that's not the point."

Magistrate McLaughin suggested if Whetton wanted to help animals, she should get a job with the RSPCA, the Queensland Police Service or become a investigative journalist and conduct her business lawfully.

The court heard this was Whetton's fourth charge of unlawfully entering farming land in one year, which Magistrate McLaughlin said showed a "real arrogance towards the law".

She was fined $400 and a conviction was not recorded on this occasion.

In February this year, the Caloundra Magistrates Court fined Whetton after she unlawfully entered the same piggery in December 2017.

Magistrate McLaughlin said another fine would likely be considered an "inappropriate" punishment if she committed further similar offences.



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