Federal government says Aussie Farms should lose charity status
The federal government has called for the charity commission to revoke Aussie Farms charity status over concerns it has put animal’s and children’s lives at risk.
The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said Aussie Farms was “despicable” for publishing an interactive map that listed the addresses of hundreds of Australian farms and said he was concerned extremists would use it to trespass or worse.
“The publication of home addresses of our farming families is despicable and I won’t stand for it,” Littleproud said. “These people don’t deserve charity status.
“We need to explore all options to see whether the law has been broken and if not, we need to make sure this sort of thing can’t happen. This is the age of the internet and we need modern laws which deal with that.”
Aussie Farms said the map is about “laying everything bare” so consumers can make informed choices. Littleproud said it should not come at the expense of families.
“Australia is a free country,” Littleproud said. “You can choose not to eat meat, you can oppose livestock farming but it is not okay to put the addresses of farming families, including children, online.”
Littleproud will also write to the Attorney-General to ask him to consider whether the Information Commissioner can investigate if the publication of addresses breached privacy rights. It would investigate whether the purpose of publishing addresses was to encourage breach of laws and to also seek advice on possible law reform.
“None of us would like it if our home address was put online. Worse, these addresses are being put up alongside information which has already proven wrong in many cases. At one point these people had a picture of a pig in their deer section.”
Prior to calling for the commission to act, Littleproud said the “stupidity” of the activists would cause further harm to animals, with animal activists encouraged to trespass.
“Some of these animal activists aren’t that bright,” Littleproud said.
“What they actually are doing is putting in place a real risk to animal welfare through biosecurity. It could mean that some of those animals need to be destroyed because of the stupidity of some idiot that wants to get their name on the newspaper.”