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Trespass penalty must be priority

LOWAN MP, Emma Kealy has called on the new Agriculture Minister, Mary-Anne Thomas, to make the introduction of on-the-spot fines for farm trespassers a priority.

The State Government committed in June last year to introducing on-the-spot fines for trespassing on farms, following a parliamentary inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism on the agriculture sector.

The inquiry found “animal rights activists who trespass onto agricultural facilities pose a biosecurity risk” and recommended legislation be introduced to make biosecurity breaches by trespassers a fineable offence.

But Ms Kealy said farmers were still waiting to see the change introduced more than six months later.

She said other states had already introduced similar laws and there was no excuse for Victoria’s delay.

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