News

Call for charity status review

By Country News

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has called for the charity status of animal rights group Aussie Farms to be reviewed.

The call comes after the group released a map detailing the names, contact details and locations of thousands of farms across Australia.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is among those who have called for the group’s charity status to be reviewed.

‘‘Activists who do the wrong thing, be it either trespass or false representation, will be dealt with and this behaviour is unacceptable and puts hard-working farming families at risk,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘We are giving police the resources, tools and powers they need to enforce the law and keep the community safe.’’

The release of the Aussie Farms map sparked outrage across the agriculture industry, with farmers concerned it would lead to protesters illegally entering their farms.

The NFF had previously called for the map to be pulled from online and said the body would explore legal options for farmers.

Aussie Farms said the map was an effort to ‘‘force transparency on an industry dependent on secrecy’’.

‘‘We believe in freedom of information as a powerful tool in the fight against animal abuse and exploitation,’’ the webpage reads.

Tensions rose in Western Australia last Friday, with a farmer forced to deny firing his gun to intimidate vegan activists who filmed calves at his property, saying he was instead scaring vermin away from livestock feed.

Edited footage taken by the activists from inside their car, which was parked on the road next to Jason Parravicini’s Harvey property, shows the farmer firing a shot into his land.

Separately, he approached the vehicle, asking the pair to ‘‘move on’’.

One of the activists, Direct Action Everywhere member James Warden, posted on social media that Mr Parravicini had ‘‘unlawfully discharged a firearm ... in the presence of ... concerned citizens after assaulting them while they were in their car on public property.’’

But the primary producer said he fired the shot in another direction after speaking to the pair, and thought they had left.

‘‘For anyone to say I was shooting at them ... no-one in their right mind would do that,’’ Mr Parravicini told ABC radio on Friday.

‘‘I’m a licensed firearm owner and not for a second was it pointed at them. I’m nowhere near them — it’s a good 300m at least.’’

He said the activists didn’t come onto his property but told him he was ‘‘hurting animals’’.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said farmers had a right to do their work without being harassed.