The Nationals WA have called on the McGowan Government to do more amid rising tension in rural communities over the harassment of WA farmers by animal activists.
Details of a disturbing incident in Harvey this week have emerged where a local farmer confronted activists who had allegedly tried to force him off the road.
Leader Mia Davies said she would not comment on the specific details of the Harvey incident but farmers were increasingly on edge following the launch of an online attack map by an activist group last month.
At the time Ms Davies condemned publication of the map, which lists the locations and contact details of WA farmers and their families, as an invasion of privacy and having the potential to put the safety of individuals at risk.
Ms Davies said farmers had the right to feel safe in their homes and go about their lives and work without harassment or intimidation.
She said the McGowan Government needed to do more to dissuade the criminal activity of green groups and animal activists.
“This week we had an inner city Labor MP telling West Australians they should stop eating meat. This is an extremely concerning development and potentially devastating for farming communities,” Ms Davies said.
“This anti-rural, anti-farmer attitude again exposes Labor’s green agenda and disconnect with regional life and industry.”
Agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa said The Nationals WA had recently presented a petition to Parliament calling on the Government to investigate tougher penalties for rural crime.
“The petition calls for review of legislation to protect landholders against theft or damage to livestock or property, trespassing and hunting or fishing on private land without permission,” Mr de Grussa said.
“The petition is a response to the deep sense of anger and frustration over crime in rural areas, which has now been exacerbated by animal activists.
“Primary producers are quite rightly concerned the disclosure of their location and details about their business would make them a target for animal rights activists, vandals and thieves.
“Farmers’ privacy, their right to farm and safety has been compromised and the risk that their properties, their families and livestock could become the target of extreme and dangerous activism activities is heightened.
“Stock and equipment theft and rural trespass are crimes of major concern to rural and isolated communities.”