QUEENSLAND needs the toughest laws possible, and a judiciary willing to impose significant jail sentences and fines, if animal activists are to be deterred.
That's the clear message coming from primary producers speaking at a parliamentary inquiry in Warwick on Tuesday into proposed trespass laws following a spate of invasions of farms and abattoirs.
There was strong support for the private member's bill put forward by the LNP, which seeks to introduce fines of up to $390,000 fines and up to 10 years in jail.
The bill includes three new offences: Aggravated trespass, serious criminal trespass, and organised trespass.
Greg Carey from Carey Brothers Abattoir at Yangan said about a 100 activists had marshaled at his abattoir in April, including 22 who chained themselves to machinery in the plant.
In addition to disrupting operations, the activists had split ammonia around the raceways to disrupts animals going to be processed. That ammonia had resulted in two staff being hospitalised.
The activists had also installed hidden video cameras prior to the invasion in an attempt to gather evidence of animals being mishandled.
Mr Carey was particularly scathing of the media's coverage of the invasion.
"They get the coverage and we get the kick in the guts," Mr Carey said.
Graham Reimers, a Warwick district farmer and vet who is well known as the Reindeer Man for his deer displays during the festive season, said he had been subject to abuse by activists during the past 10 years.
Mr Reimers said animal activists were not interested in the welfare of animals. Instead their motivation was the shut down the livestock industries.
"Jail time will make a difference," Mr Reimers said.
"Without a conviction, they wear a $250 fine as a badge of honour."
The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee chaired by Peter Russo (ALP Toohey) and including Melissa McMahon (ALP Macalister), James Lister (LNP Southern Downs), and Jim McDonald (LNP Lockyer), heard widespread support for the Criminal Code (Trespass Offences) Amendment Bill 2019.