Vegan activists protesting meat industry described as ‘un-Australian’ by PM Scott Morrison

Activists called 'green-collared criminals', by politician

Peter Stubley
Monday 08 April 2019 20:13
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Vegan and animal rights protesters block the road in Melbourne, Australia
Vegan and animal rights protesters block the road in Melbourne, Australia

Vegan activists have been called “un-Australian" by the country's prime minister after dozens were arrested during nationwide protests against the meat industry.

Scott Morrison hit out at reports that animal rights demonstrators had broken into farms and slaughterhouses in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

At one abattoir in Goulborn, activists chained themselves to a conveyor belt and had to be cut free by police. Another protest near Warwick ended after around 20 activists negotiated the release of three sheep.

A further 100 protesters also brought traffic to a standstill at a major junction in Melbourne and blocked the entrance of the city’s aquarium.

Mr Morrison called for state governments to take action against the protesters.

Asked about the protests by radio host Alan Jones on 2GB’s breakfast show, Mr Morrison said: ”What you have just described is shameful, it is un-Australian. The real thing that’s going on here, is this is just another form of activism that I think runs against the national interest. And the national interest is people being able to farm their own land.”

Mr Morrison also described the activists as “green-collared criminals” while out campaigning in Brisbane.

“If there are farmers that are in a position to bring a civil action against these groups looking to undermine their livelihood, the commonwealth is totally open to supporting them in a test case to show these green criminals,” he said.

Three men and six women aged between 21 and 61 have been charged in relation to the protest at Southern Meats in Goulburn. Another 38 people were arrested in Melbourne, including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old.

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Campaigner Kristin Leigh, director of Vegan Rising, told ABC News: “We want people to go vegan, we want people to stop supporting animal abuse. I don’t believe any good person supports what’s happening in slaughterhouses and so-called farms today, these are places of exploitation of innocent vulnerable beings.

“Animals are suffering in ways that most of us could never imagine. It’s not about bigger cages, it’s about animal liberation.”

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