Cameroon timber The pork industry has slammed animal activist groups in an emotional appearance in parliament.
Key points:Margo Andrae says activists gained access to Australian Pork Limited’s office by posing as plumbersIt comes after footage filmed by activists showed pigs going to slaughterMs Andrae is concerned about the impacts of activism on farmersAustralian Pork Limited (APL) chief executive Margo Andrae told Senate Estimates last night animal activists had harassed her team at their office on social media and made numerous calls to her personal phone.
She said farmers were not safe to go “down to your sheds and open those doors” for fear of activists’ action.
Her comments came hours after it was announced a Victorian parliamentary committee would probe pig welfare.
Earlier this year, footage was released of pigs going to slaughter filmed when animal activists broke into pig abattoirs.
In April, seven animal activists were charged with trespassing after they allegedly broke into an abattoir in north-east Victoria and chained themselves to machinery.
Posing as tradieMs Andrae said an activist had gained access to the farmer-owned research and industry body office by posing as a plumber and hiding in the toilets.
“It is appalling, and this behaviour should not be supported,” she told the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport committee.
In a media release on May 16, the director of Farm Transparency Project, Chris Delforce, said he “gained access to (APL’s) office dressed as a construction worker before being joined by other protesters requesting a meeting with APL’s CEO.”
The group proceeded to hold signs asking APL to ‘take this issue seriously’ and placed large stickers on the walls showing images of pigs gasping for air in gas chambers in order to “force transparency on an industry shrouded in secrecy.”
Chris Delforce founded animal activist group Farm Transparency Project.(Supplied: Farm Transparency Project)Mr Delforce said occupying the lobby in this way was a last resort for the group.
“It’s disgraceful that the pork industry is continuing to ignore the horrific footage of their slaughterhouse gas chambers,” he said.
“Even farmers are shocked by what the footage has revealed and are calling for change.”
Mr Delforce said the comments from the Australian Pork chief executive were intended to “deflect and deceive”, one day after a state parliamentary inquiry was announced.
“She doesn’t seem to realise that these tactics aren’t fooling anyone and aren’t going to cut it anymore,” he said.
No arrests issued An ACT police spokesman confirmed they attended the incident, but after being told they were trespassing the group “left without further incident, with no arrests”.
The pork industry in Australia has been targeted by animal activists.(ABC Landline)Ms Andrae said activists had taken photos of her team celebrating International Women’s Day and “put them on separate social media and called them murderers.”
“That is not acceptable.”
She said she had also received personal threats and one day fielded 86 calls to her mobile phone, many from activists.
Ms Andrae said farmers were also being targeted and said producers were worried they “cannot walk down to your sheds and open those doors confidently thinking you are safe”.
“At some point, people have to stand up and protect Australian farmers,” she said.
“It has to be called out, or there will be no farmers in the future because they will not be game to walk out their front doors.
“It is intimidation, it is bullying, and it needs to be called out.”
Posted 26 May 2023Fri 26 May 2023 at 1:51am, updated 26 May 2023Fri 26 May 2023 at 5:59am