Feedback on proposed changes to trespassing laws

Read the proposed changes to our trespassing laws and the draft Summary Offences Amendment Bill, and tell us what you think by leaving your comment in the box below.

Leave a comment

Janet Allan

17 Sep 2019

New farm trespassing laws criminalize ethical dedicated individuals and protect animal abusers who should be imprisoned. These laws are a disgrace and could never be passed in a civilized, democratic society. They are extremely upsetting because they mean we have actually become a country ruled by organized crime. The very existence of these “farms” breaches the animal welfare act and a law that protects the criminals abusing these animals is beyond belief. It is like passing a law criminalizing people who expose child abuse in order to protect the child abusers or a law to criminalize people exposing drug abuse in order to protect the income of the drug dealers only it is even worse because the enormity of the suffering endured by these animals dwarfs into insignificance the suffering caused by drugs and child abuse.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Kristen Blakers

16 Sep 2019

I think these changes are fantastic and are most definitely needed. Invading farms does nothing to prevent animal cruelty and in many cases causes more distress to the animals. Majority of farmers do the right thing and have their animals best interests at heart. These so called activists need to reassess what they are doing and choose a more effective and productive method.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Jacqueline Soumelidis

14 Sep 2019

I believe this wrong. Farmers need to be exposed for the horrendous way they treat their animals! People deserve to know what really happens . I’m tired of seeing good compassionate people be labeled the bad guys! It’s too late now we have social media exposing so much cruelty now that to cover up is ridiculous as people are waking up!!

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Meagan Chancellor

13 Sep 2019

I'm against the changes to this law. I believe that if we introduce huge punishments to whistleblowers that expose cruel and horiffic business practices, these practices will get completely out of hand. It's wrong to punish those who risk a lot to expose truth.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Chanae Matthews

13 Sep 2019

I am opposed to this bill as it is unnecessary. Activists are exposing where our food really comes from and people deserve to know the truth!

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

jasminJ jasmin

12 Sep 2019

I am against the proposed new laws.if there was no animal cruely to expose,animal right activits would not be trespassing.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Thomas Xiong

08 Sep 2019

If there are no problems, why would there have activists? South Australian government, please stop protecting those evil farm and corporations. Australia is one of the largest countries of animal abuse, from meat, dairy to wool. Lots of countries have higher standard despise Australia and USA. Please stop hiding you head in the sand. We have to face the problem. Stop protecting the evil power. We can transform Australia to a plant-based country and transform these lands of animal agriculture to plant agriculture. Please make peace on earth. And stop the greatest environmental destructor- Animal agriculture.
Let's make people proud of Australia, not despising. 🙏🌱

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

John M

08 Sep 2019

What about some laws to protect the voiceless? There is no need to raise the fines for farm trespass. Activists concerned about animal welfare are exposing abusive practices so frequently that this is what should be looked into, the animal abuse! Protesting on farms is important in a democracy, just as it has been for other issues to reduce suffering to exploited groups in the past. While some actions by those fighting for the victims may seem over the top to those doing the exploiting, but if you consider it from the perspective of those being exploited, I am sure you would want to be rescued too. It would appear that our current laws are adequate to deal with this. I believe that more transparency of animal husbandry practices is the most important thing. These activists have no intention to harm people or animals, they just want to expose abuse. If it were dogs we would all cheer.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Darren Parbs

07 Sep 2019

Looks reasonable, would suggest greater penalties in the "aggravated" area to take into financial and time losses associated with "stud" lines and associated breeding losses should important - must be proven by independant expertise- blood stock be affected. Can also see that canine, feline, equine etc should be added would also provision for camels as an industry.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Di DeLaine

07 Sep 2019

Quite frankly I see no need to raise the fines for farm trespass. Activists with concerns about animal welfare protesting on farms are important in a democracy. While some actions by activists are a bit over the top, I haven't seen much evidence that our current laws are inadequate to deal with this. I believe that transparency of animal husbandry practices is paramount.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Hannah Beale

07 Sep 2019

Stengthening trespassing laws does not protect animals from animal cruelty. The government does the have appropriate laws properly enforced to ensure the welfare of these animals. If there was no animal cruelty to expose, animal rights activists would not be trespassing in order to show what goes on at the farms or to comfort or protest for these animals. I am against the proposed new laws.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Barry Chave

06 Sep 2019

No one has talked about the bio security issue, trespassing of any kind can cause as damage.

Deb Horley > Barry Chave

06 Sep 2019

Bio security? These places are contaminated with rodents, feces urine etc. Activists were bio gear, unlike most workers.

Barry Chave > Barry Chave

07 Sep 2019

Ok Deb :)

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

David Clarke

06 Sep 2019

Activists entering farms 'illegally' in the past have exposed cruel practices. Factory farming is unethical.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Dave W

06 Sep 2019

It's in the public interest that animal cruelty be uncovered and brought to light. The government does not do anything in this age of de-regulation to proactively expose maltreatment, and there must be ways that humane animal treatment by farmers can be verified.

If it is left up to animal protest groups to take action, then there is no way that prison should be contemplated for any offence of this type at all. Fines should be in proportion to any damage, and need to be affordable to the people concerned.

It's likely that the vast majority of farmers are doing the right thing - but those who are NOT need to be identified and prevented from hiding behind laws such as this!

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Dale Sutton

06 Sep 2019

I can understand the sentiment being shared in these comments that we need to identify and address animal cruelty. However we need to think about better ways to do this, and it is great to read some ideas and constructive comments on here too, such as unannounced farm audits. Having grown up in a regional area I know that the vast majority of farmers look after their animals extremely well. However, if current farming practices are what concerns people then a separate review around that can be conducted, however lets not lose sight of what these new laws are trying to achieve. I think the proposed changes are warranted, and may act as a deterrent to trespassers who have no legal right to disrupt farmer’s business.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Kerri Whiting

06 Sep 2019

5—Amendment of section 17—Being on premises for an unlawful purpose.
I would disputed that the intention of activists to enter a premises to expose cruelty and other procedural misconduct by farm owners and staff is not unlawful when acting as whistleblowers of the farming industry. This law will also discourage the general public from assisting animals in distress or in need of genuine rescue or attention as well as the activists who work hard to expose the neglect of animal rights.
Secondly why is this precedent only related to the trespass of farms? are other business activities or private homes not also deserving of the same penalty when such breaches occur, these amendments suggest targeted and deliberate attack on those we rely on to expose the truth. They are not thieves or in any other way compromising the business enterprise. Throw the book at thieves instead of ramping up on generalised trespass. Im sure statistically, far more non primary production enterprises and private homes are subjected to trespass than are farms so this is clearly a weighted attack at activists who may at best temporarily disrupt activities and bring a farm into disrepute. This is a knee jerk reaction of farmers banding together with their respective local ministers wanting their votes.
As for bio security I’m sure that in many cases this is a pseudo claim used to hide behind. Genuine bio security risks should be clarified by an assessor registered and displayed and reviewed if not already. Im sure there is sufficient laws covering this area already in relation to trespass of any kind, it should not matter who the trespasser is, activist or other.
We need voices for the voiceless and unless cameras are made mandatory in certain types of farm activities then we need independent whistleblowers because clearly there is a conflict of interest among so called independent industry watchdogs who fail to report systemic failings within these profit driven enterprises.
Lastly I’m sure this will provide a great intel gathering platform to identify those who are pro activism and pro citizen rights.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Jewls Wilson

06 Sep 2019

It seems to me that all will be accomplished here is allowing animals to continue to be abused, and conditions for them will get worse being unchecked. There already is bio hazards in the farming industry alot worse than the ones any activist could bring. Rats, cats and all sorts of vermin have been found because the conditions are already horrendous for animals. The animals are already stressed living with the abuse that goes on. The cutting of piglets tails, teeth, castration, all with no pain relief is the standard, just to name a few,things endured and protected by the government. Consumers need the truth of where their food is coming from so they can make an informed decision. Most would be shocked and horrified by what the government is allowing to be done to helpless, innocent creatures. Activists are needed and has been a long time asset to bringing about wrong doings and injustices in the world. It saddens me that we live in a world where standing up and fighting for cruelty to animals is a crime.
Please rethink this decision and not implement these changes

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Marion Ferguson

06 Sep 2019

I'm interested to know how these amendments will affect animal cruelty revelations. We've seen the RSPCA has had to bring about legal proceedings against some people (farmers included) when animals are neglected, emaciated or in need of veterinary treatment. And are working dogs covered by this legislation or just animals used for food production? What if I see a sheep caught in a fence and attempt to free it? Will I be committing an offence? If someone is genuinely acting to protect an animal's life or well being should that be an offence punishable by law? It's all a bit hazy when you take into consideration that interventions will sometimes be necessary and undertaken with no ill intent.

Marion Ferguson > Marion Ferguson

06 Sep 2019

A case in point. During the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires a CFS volunteer collected animals from many properties along one road in the Adelaide hills and took them to a property which had a dam where they were all sheltered from the devastating fires. My friends pet sheep was saved by this action. His enclosure was burnt out.
would this person, acting solely with the animals' welfare in mind, be charged under the proposed amendments?

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Luke Weber

05 Sep 2019

The push to silence those who try to inform the public of what they are really paying for is absolutely disgusting. So what you are proposing is to allow farmers to continue to abuse aninals and protect that but punish the brave people who attempt to expose the cruelty. What if these were children being abused, mutilated, murdered and tortured? The person exposing the abuse would be labelled a hero. This is purely to protect industry profits. This has nothing to do with safety of the farmers and their families and has everything to do with an archaic industry trying to mislead the public to think farmers are some sort of heroes and the compassionate, kind activists who care only about the welfare of the animals are the criminals.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Chris Blaikie

05 Sep 2019

The conditions that claim to justify this as an aggravated form of trespass ie.
'interferes with the conduct of the farming activities, or
does anything that gives rise to a serious risk to the safety of the person or any other person on the land, or
introduces or increases a risk of biosecurity or food contamination.'
could and will be claimed to apply by a persons mere presence on agricultural land whatever their reasons might be. As far as definitions of forms of threats to farming they are too broad and could always be applied (even erroneously) in any case.

We have seen recently in Victoria another case of eagles and protected birds being poisoned, we have multiple cases of bird poisonings in SA.
We have seen 'illegal' clearing of alpine indigenous grassland in NSW.
Farmers in SA have been constantly calling for permission to cull wildlife.
Farmers should not be above some level of public scrutiny.
Farms should not be 'legal fortresses'.

Don't SA laws also allow for access to waterways on private agricultural land ?

Chris Blaikie > Chris Blaikie

05 Sep 2019

In my local area when I took my son for a walk down to the local creek we found an illegal dumping pit full of animal carcasses. We never reported it but I found out later that a local landholder was investigated for dumping carcasses next to a waterway....probably should have reported it but was actually worried about being even seen to have noticed such a horrific polluting mess.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Christine Lowery

05 Sep 2019

It is more important that you change the laws to increase the penalties for animal abusers. Our Society is becoming immune to cruelty and suffering and all you want to do is punish those who expose this abuse not the perpetrators.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Gabrielle Smith

04 Sep 2019

“New Farm trespassing laws”... I would much rather it was “New Farm transparency laws”.
There is absolutely NO transparency, from the farmers, to educate consumers about the origins of the neatly packaged meat that they buy, nor the origins of the milk, other dairy products and eggs that they buy.
Tobacco has graphic images of the possible consequences of smoking clearly displayed on the packaging, which is very educational and enlightening.
Maybe there should be graphic images - on all dairy products’ packaging - of bobby calves being separated from their dairy cow mothers, or of the dairy cows being unnaturally impregnated... ?
Maybe there should be graphic images - on the meat and processed meat packaging - of the animal getting slaughtered, of pigs getting gassed, of chickens being boiled alive, of baby male chicks being thrown into the grinder ( on egg cartons ).
There would be NO need for trespassing activists - who have educated and enlightened myself and MANY consumers - if the farmers would be transparent, instead of being secretive, defensive and paranoid.
CCTV footage, streamed 24/7 to the public, is what’s needed - IF the farmers have nothing to hide from us !!!

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Pam Fioretti

04 Sep 2019

It's most concerning that NOTHING is being done, or even considered, to address the undeniable and horrific cruelty that has been exposed by activists, they should be thanked, not punished. If those who should be responsible for ensuring that animals are not abused and tormented were not totally lacking in compassion and responsibility , decent caring people would not be driven to the lengths they have been - which, incidentally, have caused no harm or violence to anyone, nor have they "entered farmers' homes.
To label them "terrorists" is ludicrous and contemptible. The shockingly cruel practices which have been exposed should NEVER be allowed to be happening in the first place. I am very opposed to this unjust bill.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Carolyn Denton

04 Sep 2019

You're targeting the issue from the wrong side. I do not agree that activists should cause any damage and not be fined, however there are already laws for that, and trespass, of any property. Why should a farm be any different? The real question you should be asking, is why do they feel the need to go onto these properties??? Well, that's to give those poor tortured animals a voice - to make us see them and what goes on. To expose the truth that the heartless industrial farming industry wants to keep hidden. So address that issue instead. Make it common knowledge exactly what goes on under our pathetic laws that do nothing to protect these beautiful animals. Be honest.
Let people decide what they buy when they know the truth. The animal agriculture industry better change to plant-based I'd say. 👍
Stop the cruelty. Stop animal agriculture. It's unnecessary.
Plenty of products to farm and make money from that are not innocent living creatures.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.

Dorlene Tony

04 Sep 2019

We must continue to show animal abuse, no laws will change that. There has never been an animal activist that has been violent or entered into a farmers home. The stupid media has made up **** after ****. This will only make people that care to go out more and film.

Log in to reply

Log in now to comment

Don't have an account? Register here.