A comprehensive, interactive map of farms, abbatoirs and other facilities where animals are kept has been released by an animal rights group and condemned by the country’s national farmers association.
Aussie Farms Maps took eight years to develop and was used as a resource for a small number of activists and organizations. But the group Aussie Farms, which wants to end “commercialized animal abuse and exploitation through public education about modern farming and slaughtering practices” says the public has a right to know.
We believe in freedom of information as a powerful tool in the fight against animal abuse and exploitation. We believe consumers have a right to know of the existence, location and operations of these businesses. We believe whistleblowers have the right to a platform where their anonymity can be respected.”
National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said the implications could be dire and has demanded Facebook close the page promoting the map immediately and for the group to be stripped of its charity status.
Farmers’ privacy, their right to farm and most disturbingly, their safety and that of their families and animals, are at risk.
Australian farmers have had enough and we will not stand by and watch attempts to destroy farms, families and rural communities.”
Simson said the NFF had fielded calls from farmers who had been included on the map, in some instances who were represented as running businesses that in fact, they do not.
They are rightly distressed that their name has incorrectly been linked to ‘animal cruelty’.
They are extremely anxious and very angry that their workplace, and their home, has become the target of extreme and dangerous activities,” Simson said.
Aussie Farms says their aim with opening up the map to anyone to contribute is to allow people to see where every broiler farm, piggery, egg farm, slaughterhouse to see inside without having to leave their chair.
The farmers federation says the map is a malicious social media campaign run by an extreme anti-farm group.
According to their website, Aussie Farms’ ‘core value’ is a belief that animals should not be owned for human purposes.
The federation says that Aussie Farms shouldn’t be considered a charity and activists with the organization has been linked to a number of trespass incidents including one in December where 55 protesters forced their way into an abattoir in Nhill, Victoria.