Maranoa farmer fights back against animal activists
GENERATIONS of farmers have lived on a quiet rural road 70km north of Roma largely uninterrupted.
But the public release of their information, and that of thousands of other farms across the nation, has sparked fierce debate about privacy and animal welfare.
Rob Loughnan runs about 500 breeders at his property, which has been in his family for years.
While his property name and address has always been in relevant databases, its use on an anti-primary producer site, run by a group he describes as pseudo-animal welfare, is of major concern to him.
Aussie Farms' website has an interactive map as its centrepiece, curated from more than eight years of contributed information, releasing details of farms around the nation, including their address, number of stock and how to contact.
Mr Loughnan said he, like most farmers and graziers, was especially concerned with animal welfare and was wary of the detrimental effect this website might have on public perception of primary producers.
"I'm not impressed," he said.
"This does seem to be an adversarial outlook on primary production and that's not a good thing.
"There has been a lot of highly political activism lately that isn't in anyone's best interest.
"I was quite hopeful not too long ago that a lot of animal welfare groups were coming around to the realisation that farmers really are the best animal welfare technicians.
Our farmers and graziers do their best to look after their animals, I would say 99per cent of our activity is in the name of animal welfare."
Aussie Farms, which is described as an animal rights charity, is dedicated to ending commercialised animal abuse and exploitation in Australian animal agriculture facilities.
"We're increasing industry transparency and educating the public about modern farming and slaughtering practices," a spokesperson said.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said state governments needed to beef up trespass laws but there wasn't much the Federal Government could do.
"No one would like the address of their family home put up online for all to see," he said.
"State Governments need to make sure trespass laws carry huge penalties, the risk of trespass and farm vandalism is higher since this website went up.
"It would only take one idiot to act on information from this website for tragedy to occur."