Learning lessons from animal activist motives

Learning lessons from animal activist motives


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Cox Inall Communication's Tim Powell at SmartBeef.

Cox Inall Communication's Tim Powell at SmartBeef.

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Tim Powell says operators need to "starve the outrage... and break the business model".

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A PR expert says the feedlot industry should take note of animal activists' motives to learn more about how to counteract their actions.

Tim Powell addressed the crowd at the SmartBeef conference on the topic in the wake of farm invasions earlier this year, speaking about key motivations behind such attacks.

"What they most want to do...is generate mainstream media coverage in the metropolitan markets around Australia, to generate outrage, because it's outrage that gets people pressing on the donate buttons on social media on their website," he said.

"What they are looking for is to discover a feedlot operator or an abattoir or a transport operator doing the wrong thing... they want to provoke confrontation.

"I know it's tough because it is an invasion of your homes, of your workplaces but you've just got to focus on keeping cool, just letting things unfold."

Mr Powell said operators need to "starve the outrage... and break the business model".

Meanwhile McCullough Robertson special counsel Trent Thorne said he would caution any farmers who wanted to take civil action against activists.

"If you are going to sue somebody, you need to know that you're going to have some money at the end of the day to recover... there's no point starting a fight if you're not going to win the ultimate battle," he said.

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