Who are the animals now? Activists uncut

View From the Paddock: Who are the animals now?

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Courts needs to stand firm and tell animal rights activists there is no place in our society for groups who want to be above the law.

Agribusiness lawyer, Trent Thorne.

Agribusiness lawyer, Trent Thorne.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”: George Orwell, Animal Farm

The fallout from the recent early morning raid on a Sunshine Coast piggery by 100 animal rights activists will reverberate for some time to come, with 34 of them due to face court next month on trespassing charges.

The activists affirmed their utter disregard for societal values by wearing T-shirts proclaiming ‘One has a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws’.

As English novelist Henry Fielding once said, ‘where the law ends, tyranny begins’.

Smarm, selfishness and self-indulgence rarely win the day, and when one group in society thinks they know better than everyone else, they will fail to convert others to their cause. 

The activists’ self-centred conduct, which showed complete disregard for the strict biosecurity protocols of the piggery, actually put the health of the pigs at risk and should be condemned.

These animal rights groups formed a myopic, wilfully blind view of the Australian pork industry some time ago. More often than not, the propaganda peddled by these groups and presented to urban communities distort reality and fundamentally misrepresent major aspects of the industry.

You can absolutely guarantee the hair on your chinny chin chin that these very same activists would squeal to high heaven if someone broke into their home or place of work.

Let’s be clear: invading someone’s property – irrespective of the cause – is an act of intellectual and moral cowardice. If your activism extends to breaking and entering, then either your argument is based on a house of straw or your movement lacks sufficient rigour to withstand serious debate.

These activists would be best served by actually seeking out the facts on how the industry operates by going to the source, rather than relying on the swill served up by the leaders of these groups. By way of example, the Aussie Pig Farmers website (aussiepigfarmers.com.au) provides a comprehensive look at what happens ‘behind the scenes’ in Australia’s piggeries.  

We can only hope that when these activists do face justice, the court stands firm like the proverbial brick outhouse and reiterates there is no place in society for a group that thinks it can pick and choose the laws it wishes to adhere to.

 – Trent Thorne, agribusiness lawyer


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