Vegan behind farm website vows to ignore new laws
A MILITANT vegan activist says breaking "unjust" laws to invade farms and gather evidence of alleged animal cruelty "should and must" happen.
Christopher Delforce, who runs a website listing private farm addresses, told a Senate Committee on Monday trespassing was an "unfortunate necessity" for activists because producers would never "open their doors to the public".
"The only way that this footage has come out and people have been able to see it for themselves is when people including myself have trespassed into these facilities to capture that evidence and expose it to the public," he said.
The Committee is investigating a Bill, which passed the Lower House earlier this month, that would create two new offences for inciting activists to trespass or commit property offences on agricultural land.
Mr Delforce said he would not pull his website down if the laws passed, saying "unjust" laws should and must be broken.
"If I've broken the law then I'll quite happily face the courts over it, that is my personal decision to make … I do not want to go into these farms and slaughterhouses they are horrific places, I don't want to see it I've been personally traumatised by it for years - this has destroyed my soul seeing these things," he said.
National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Mahar said the wave of farm invasions across the country was traumatising farmers who did not feel the law was protecting them.
"If someone comes on to your farm, your business, your home and tries to enforce their views on you because you think differently to them, it is absolutely devastating and traumatising," he said.
The Morrison Government's crackdown comes as the State Opposition, businesses and agriculture groups have increased calls for harsher penalties on activists targeting farms, business and mines.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said protesters felt emboldened by weak state laws.
"Only the LNP will come down hard on these morons with tough new laws that will protect regional jobs," she said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government had recently increased fines for activists caught trespassing on private property.
"We want to make sure that people who are going about their business on their properties can go about their business and not be disrupted by activists that are sometimes coming from other parts of the country to cause massive disruption," she said.
"That's not good for business and that's not good for our farming families."