Remain calm if confronted by animal activists: Police

Zach RelphCountryman
Boyup Brook Police Sergeant James Gaunt.
Camera IconBoyup Brook Police Sergeant James Gaunt. Credit: Zach Relph

Remain calm.

That is the approach Boyup Brook Police Sergeant James Gaunt wants South West farmers to adopt if confronted by animal activists.

Speaking on the sidelines at last Friday’s Rylington Park Field Day near Boyup Brook, Sgt. Gaunt called for farmers to maintain composure if activists trespassed.

“If activists come onto your property, ask them politely to leave,” he told Countryman.

“The activists will no doubt be trying to film them to get a reaction, but don’t retaliate in any way and ask them to leave.

“If they don’t call the police and get us to come — remain calm and don’t antagonise people.”

Sgt. Gaunt joined Emmanuel Exports corporate governance officer and livestock veterinarian Holly Ludeman and Nationals WA agriculture spokesman Colin de Grussa to speak at this year’s Rylington Park Field Day.

The event focused on activism and rural crime, with Wilga sheep producer Geoff Charteris speaking via video about his petition calling for a review of State legislation to protect landholders from trespass.

It comes after a spate of animal activism protests and alleged trespass at farming operations near Harvey and Pinjarra earlier this year.

This month, the Federal Government introduced the improved regulations to imprison animal activists for using farmers’ personal information to incite on-farm invasions.

The new Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019, passed in the Lower and Upper houses, could result in vegan activists facing up to five years jail for encouraging trespass onto farms.

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