SYDNEY, Jan 21, 2019, The Sydney Morning Herald. The peak farmers’ lobby has demanded a radical animal rights group be booted off Facebook and stripped of charity status over a “malicious” social media campaign, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
The National Farmers’ Federation is furious with Aussie Farms for publishing a map which details the location of hundreds of farms and abattoirs where the group says animals are being exploited.
NFF president Fiona Simson said her organisation had been contacted by farmers on the map who were falsely represented.
“They are rightly distressed that their name has incorrectly been linked to animal cruelty,” Ms Simson said.
“They are extremely anxious and very angry that their workplace, and their home, has become the target of extreme and dangerous activities.”
Aussie Farms’ Facebook page has more than 20,000 followers, with the activists aiming to end to commercialised animal abuse and exploitation through public education.
“This map is about laying everything bare, so that consumers can make their own informed choices about what they wish to support with their purchases,” they said in a statement.
“It shows how these horrific places that most people wouldn’t support have essentially taken over the country.”
Among the core values listed on its website, Aussie Farms says it believes in the rights of animals not to be owned or exploited for human purposes.
The group has previously forced its way onto farms and processing facilities to protest treatment of animals.
Ms Simson called for the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission to retract Aussie Farms’ charitable status.
“Their agenda is simple and straightforward: they want to see an end to farms, and that means an end to many farmers and the contribution they make,” the NFF president said.
The NFF will also contact police to question how the library of pictures and video published by Aussie Farms was collected.
The agriculture lobby has also spoken with the coalition government and the opposition, with both major parties condemning Aussie Farms behaviour.
It comes after tensions flared between animal activists and farmers last week after allegations one group had discussed possible payments in return for incriminating footage about live exports.