Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced on Tuesday 8th December new measures to better protect NSW farms from trespass and surveillance activity. Ms Hodgkinson said illegal entry onto farms presents a major biosecurity risk to our $12 billion primary industries sector.
“Our intensive farms are highly susceptible to pests and diseases – only last year an outbreak of avain influenza on two properties near Young led to the destruction of close to half a million layer hens”, Ms Hodgkinson said.
“To break and enter is a crime and all NSW residents have the right to be protected against unauthorised persons sneaking around their home, their shed or their backyard. The NSW Liberals & Nationals have been working on a policy which will have essential guidelines and strong penalties to better protect our farmers and the welfare of animals.’
“NSW at the moment proudly maintains some of the strictest biosecurity and animal welfare measures of anywhere in the world,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Representatives from the NSW Farmers, RSPCA, Australian Pork limited and the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association all welcomed this new initiative. Dougal Gordon, CEO of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association said,” that whilst we are proud of our transparency, systems and people – and are happy to have people enter feedlots via the front door – we do not support people trespassing and accordingly support the NSW Government’s Farm Trespass Policy.”
Bede Burke, a Tamworth egg producer, said, “ that a farmer in Tamworth has the same right to expect the law to protect him from illegal trespass as a family in Turramurra.”
By Cheryl Newsom
photo: Townsend Rural harvesting